Rebel angels

Space and sovereignty in Anglo-Saxon England

Author: Jill Fitzgerald

Over six hundred years before John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Anglo-Saxon authors told their own version of the fall of the angels. This book brings together various cultural moments, literary genres, and relevant comparanda to recover that story, from the legal and social world to the realm of popular spiritual ritual and belief. The story of the fall of the angels in Anglo-Saxon England is the story of a successfully transmitted exegetical teaching turned rich literary tradition that can be traced through a diverse range of genres: sermons, saints’ lives, royal charters, riddles, as well as devotional and biblical poetry, each genre offering a distinct window into the ancient myth’s place within the Anglo-Saxon literary and cultural imagination.

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‘Fitzgerald’s nuanced approach to her subject’s many complexities, together with the attention given to the texts’ historical circumstances, makes a persuasive argument for the influence of the fall of the angels narrative in the literary imagination of early English authors. This is a thought-provoking book that will prove an inspiration to its careful reader.'’
Fabienne L. Michelet
Speculum
July 2020

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