Lindy Brady
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The transformation of the borderlands outlaw in the eleventh century
in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England
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Over the course of the late eleventh century, the association between outlaws and wilderness shifted from the rebels of the borderlands, to outlaws more broadly, to the Welsh alone. The Peterborough Chronicle's fortuitous survival can be used as a window into shifting representation of the Welsh borderlands in the period after the Normans' arrival. In the immediate aftermath of the Conquest, when an alliance of Mercian earls and Welsh nobles rebelled against the Normans, the borderlands were the home of outlaws sympathetically depicted. Orderic Vitalis's narrative indicates that, after the initial wave of revolts is crushed and the Mercian earls are captured or killed, the locus of rebellion shifts to Wales and the Welsh. The Vita Haroldi depicts the borderlands as a mixed Anglo-Welsh region whose cultural stability throughout the Anglo-Saxon period was lost in Norman violence towards Wales in the centuries after the Battle of Hastings.

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