Virgin Lives and Holy Deaths: Two Exemplary Biographies for Anglo-Norman Women Clemence of Barking
This study edition contains both the translated texts of the "Life of Saint Catherine" and the "Life of Saint Lawrence" and commentaries upon them. The "Life and Saint Catherine" is an Anglo-Norman narrative by Clemence of Barking, one of the first women writing in Britain after the Norman Conquest. In her work, Clemence responds to the genre's representation of the torture of women and provides a role-model for her own medieval female community. The account of Catherine's life is complemented by an anonymous life of St Lawrence, a young martyr and object of particular devotion for medieval women in post-Conquest Britain. The two texts share conventions but differ thematically and technically, providing insight into the relationships between exemplary figures and audiences.