Chapter

The Body Politic

Sheila Delany

in Impolitic Bodies

Published in print November 1998 | ISBN: 9780195109887
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855216 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195109887.003.0007
The Body Politic

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The chapter revisits the socio-political situation during the time of Bokenham's creation of his legendary. Specifically, the lives and actions of Edward III's descendants, particularly Richard of York, are discussed, as well as the consequences of their actions. Through this study, the chapter attempts to corroborate the assertion that Bokenham's partisanship was Yorkist, and that this political bent was reflected in his hagiography as a form of mild propaganda. Evidence is provided in Clare Priory's patronage, through factors external to the field of hagiography, and in the distinct representational strategies found in the text of the narrative. Several examples of this Yorkist sentiment are cited through numerous texts published by the Bokenham's Priory. This subtle political slant is not seen as an inhibitor of the hagiography's value and meaning as the creation of such narratives had always been closely tied with politics and external to the subject being discussed.

Keywords: Bokenham; legendary; Richard of York; Yorkist; Clare Priory; political; hagiography

Chapter.  16000 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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