, pursuing political ambition, as
religious, pious wives, mothers and daughters. Such views of women
depend very much on genre, date of composition and context of entry
of a female character into the narrative. It is important to recognise that
medieval writers wrote within convention. When Étienne de Fougères
wrote his Le Livre des Manières in 1160–70, he described good and bad
women, and used the countess of Hereford as his model of female courtly,
aristocratic and ‘good behaviour’.10 In the early twelfth century, Baudri
de Bourgeuil wrote of the beauty of his subjects
shaped his material to suit the taste
of a female reader and it is difficult to assess whether Constance had an
influence on the content of Gaimar’s Estoire. Gaimar wrote to entertain
and in the romance genre, and although some of his figures are without
doubt fabrications, he wrote using images and words to which his audience could relate. Indeed, John Gillingham goes so far as to suggest
that Gaimar articulates an alternative and secular set of values to puritanical monastic authors.75 Elisabeth van Houts finds the issue of female
patronage to be important and
saints’ lives. This theme was explored in
greater detail in a discussion of the role of noblewomen as patrons of
the chroniclers and narratives. Such female influence may well have
affected the popularity of important texts in the twelfth century such as
Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain. The activity of
noblewomen as patrons affected the way that specific genres developed,
and they had important roles to play in the process of cultural diffusion.
The development of views of women in chronicles and narratives
was discussed in
and London: University of California Press, 1987);
eadem, Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in
Medieval Religion (New York: Zone, 1991).
4 P. Stafford, ‘Women and the Norman Conquest’, TRHS, 6th ser, 4 (1994), 221–49;
Stafford, ‘Emma’, pp. 12–13.
5 J. L. Nelson, ‘Women at the court of Charlemagne: a case of monstrous regiment?’ in
J. Carmi Parsons (ed.), Medieval Queenship (Stroud: Sutton, 1994), pp. 43–61; eadem,
‘Gender and genre in women historians of the early Middle Ages’, L’Historiographie
médiévale en Europe
. D. White, Custom, Kinship and Gifts to Saints: The Laudatio Parentum in Western
France, 1050–1150 (Chapel Hill NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1988), pp. 27,
6 Ibid., p. 203.
7 Ibid., pp. 26–8; Tabuteau similarly argues that countergifts were given as an aid to
memory: Transfers of Property, p. 118.
8 M. Innes, ‘Memory, orality and literacy in an early medieval society’, Past and Present,
158 (1998), 1–36, at p. 5; J. L. Nelson, ‘Gender and genre in women historians of the
early Middle Ages’, in L’Historiographie médiévale en Europe (Paris, 1991), 150
524, 534, 538, 544, 547–8, 550, 554, 601, 607, 624, 634, 645; she
both witnessed and acted as a signa.
29 Stafford, ‘Emma’, pp. 6–8.
30 Ibid., p. 6.
31 Ibid., p. 14.
32 Nelson, ‘Gender and genre’, p. 151.
33 Reuter, ‘Property transactions and social relations’, p. 168. See also M. Innes,
‘Memory, orality and literacy in an early medieval society’, Past and Present, 158
34 Reuter, ‘Property transactions and social relations’, p. 168.
35 Gloucester Charters, pp. 25–30.
36 CDF, 1. no. 1136.
37 Ibid. no. 1138.
38 Stafford, ‘Emma’, p. 8, shows that Emma was
example, Gwyn Williams also called her the ‘Helen of Wales’ in his popular and well-received When Was Wales? , as did Brynley Roberts in his survey of Gerald of Wales. 3 Nest’s beauty is a central motif in all interpretations of her and is key to the construction of her as the ‘Welsh Helen’. Her beauty is emphasised in other genres, such as modern popular interpretations of her in creative fiction. Her inscription as a great beauty is a result of interpretations of the Brut , and her beauty authorises the actions of Owain ap Cadwgan’s abduction. The following
‘perhaps necessary, though most cruel, policy of Edward I who had destroyed a race of men’ who were capable of creating music that caused such a strong response in the listener. 25 Such travel writings were influential in creating a view of Wales, and Bingley saw the repression of Wales by conquerors in a romantic and gendered way.
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the genre of travel writing underwent development. Literary scholars and historians have begun to evaluate the genre in terms of its key features including
clashing religious affiliation, power, and status, epitomised by the pagan
ruler on the one hand and the saint on the other.4
The Scottish Legendary makes evident that hagiographers,
beyond the genre expectations of hagiography, which require
Character depiction and direct discourse
the dialogue scenes to follow received patterns, had considerable freedom in fleshing out the actual turns of the conversation.
The choices range from the presentation of direct discourse to
a more or less embellished summary of the conversation’s content. Obviously the effect of a
Time, space, and the Scottishness of the Scottish Legendary
Eva von Contzen
maybe even the basic constant, of all hagiography.
As we have seen throughout the analyses, even though hagiography is a conservative genre, it is open to local changes, especially
with respect to the hagiographer’s own time and place. The South
English Legendary is a prominent example: not only does the compilation include a very high number of national saints, these legends are also particularly dense in their local references and can be
read in terms of a self-consciously English agenda of promoting
saintly devotion.4 Whether the Scottish Legendary likewise