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Title: Edward II : England's lost saint?
Author: Bowman, Gaynor
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2013
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The cult that arose around the posthumous memory of Edward Il is currently recognised but dismissed as a brief, localised aberration, dependent upon external stimulus. The subsuming understandings required to support and project an image of Edward Il as a saintly figure remain unexplored. Therefore, this thesis through a synthesis and analysis of literary and material sources, read against contemporary political, cultural and religious views, aims to identify the foundations of his alleged sanctity and assess the nature, scope and duration of his veneration. This study contends that the idea of Edward Il as a martyr developed three years after his death when it was announced that he had been murdered. The vital nucleus to this was the deeply acculturated belief in the ' inherent sanctity of an anointed king, catalysed into veneration by the abject horror of his murder. This conviction adopted a political dimension in retrospective criticism of the regime of Isabella and Mortimer, which had supplanted the rule of Edward Il and usurped the rule of Edward Ill. The understanding of Edward Il as a saintly figure who stood against the usurpation of God's order became quiescently embedded into the contemporary spiritual hierarchy, resulting in some evidence of it becoming overlooked (as perhaps in the Luttrel/ Psalter) or under evaluated. This argument is explored through fresh interpretations, some re -dating and close readings of four literary pieces. The Lament of Edward If reveals a previously undetected analogy of Edward Il as Boethius. The Vita et Mars is suggested as a hagiography for the king. The Fieschi Letter is considered as a piece of anti-English propaganda emanating from the Hundred Years War and Adam Davy's 5 Dreams about Edward If is re-contextualised as a piece of propaganda possibly written or adapted to gain support for Bishop Despenser's crusade of 1383.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Christian saints, Martyrdom, Christianity, Medieval