Wace, The Hagiographical Works

The Conception Nostre Dame and the Lives of St Margaret and St Nicholas. Translated with introduction and notes by Jean Blacker, Glyn S. Burgess, Amy V. Ogden with the original texts included


Best known for his two chronicles, the Roman de Brut and the Roman de Rou, Wace, one of the great pioneers of twelfth-century French writing, is also the author of three hagiographical works: the Conception Nostre Dame and the Lives of St Margaret and St Nicholas. The Conception is the first vernacular work to focus on the life of the Virgin Mary. Emphasising Margaret's concern for women in labour, the Margaret seemingly contributed to the saint's broad popularity. The Nicholas, with its many miracles involving children, equally played a key role in popularising its protagonist's cult. The present volume brings these works together for the first time and provides the original texts, the first translations into English, notes and substantial introductions.

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Jean Blacker, Ph.D. (1984) in Comparative Literature, University of California Berkeley, is Emerita Professor of French at Kenyon College. She has published on twelfth-century French and Latin historiography including Wace, Anglo-Norman prophecy and textual criticism.

Glyn S. Burgess, B.A., M.A. (Oxon), Docteur de l'Université de Paris (Sorbonne) (1968), Chevalier des Palmes Académiques, is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Liverpool. He has published extensively on medieval French language and literature, his principal interests being Wace, short narrative and the legend of St Brendan.

Amy V. Ogden, Ph.D. (2001) in Romance Languages and Literatures, Princeton University, is Associate Professor of French at the University of Virginia. Her current research focuses on medieval French hagiography, manuscripts and new technologies.
“This is a splendid and very useful volume, of interest to those working on vernacular literature, hagiography, history, liturgy and spirituality.”
Mary Clayton, University College Dublin. In: The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 65, No. 3 (July 2014), pp. 660-661.

‘’There is much here […] to interest scholars of all stripes […] this volume will surely prove a valuable teaching resource, and the case it makes for introducing Wace’s hagiographical works to a broader audience is a highly persuasive one’’.
Huw Grange, University of Cambridge. In: Modern Language Reviews, 109, Part 3, 2014, p. 797.

‘’This is a very welcome edition and translation of Wace’s lesser-known works: The Conception Nostre Dame and the Lives of St Margaret and St Nicholas are excellent sources for folklorists and other scholars of medieval religious narrative and popular religion.’’
David Elton Gay, Indiana University Bloomington. In: Fabula, 55, 3-4, 2014, p.329.

General Introduction

1. The Conception Nostre Dame
Text and Translation

2. The Life of St Margaret
Text and Translation
Notes to Keller’s Text

3. The Life of St Nicholas
Text and Translation

General Conclusion



Index I

Index II

All those interested in the works of Wace, hagiographical writings (especially the lives of the Virgin Mary and of St Margaret and St Nicholas), medieval French literature and the Anglo-Norman world.
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