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Radegund and Amalfrid in The Wife’s Lament

North, Richard; (2024) Radegund and Amalfrid in The Wife’s Lament. Anglo-Saxon England 10.1017/S0263675124000012. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Who is the woman in The Wife’s Lament? This essay makes her out to be St Radegund (c. 520–587), deaconess of Sainte-Croix in Poitiers. Reevaluating the narrative syntax mainly of the first half of this poem, the argument finds not the one man conventionally taken to be the woman’s lover or husband in this poem, but four male subjects there whose actions fit the stories of Radegund’s cousin Amalfrid, her husband Clothar, her unnamed but murdered brother, and lastly Lord Jesus. The poet’s main sources are argued to be the two Vitae of St Radegund and the poems of Venantius Fortunatus (c. 530–c. 609), mostly his (and possibly also her) lament De excidio Thoringiae (c. 568). The essay finally claims that The Wife’s Lament is related to the winileodos banned by Charlemagne in 789, and that it was composed in this period as an elegiac riddle for St Radegund.

Type: Article
Title: Radegund and Amalfrid in The Wife’s Lament
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0263675124000012
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0263675124000012
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of English Lang and Literature
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10185276
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