• "How a Widow Becomes a Witch: Land, Loss and Law in Anglo-Saxon Charter S. 1377" (pre-publication draft)

    Author(s):
    Martin Foys (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Subject(s):
    English literature--Old English, Anglo-Saxons--Study and teaching, Charters, Middle Ages, Widowhood
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Old English literature, Medieval studies, Anglo-Saxon studies, Medieval charters
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6H26R
    Abstract:
    Written for a special issue of English Studies, on “Women’s Bodies in Anglo-Saxon England,” eds. Robin Norris, Rebecca Stephenson & Renée Trilling This essay dives deep into the events of S. 1377, a late tenth-century Anglo-Saxon charter that recounts the execution of a widow, probably for witchcraft, on the southeast border of the collapsing Danelaw, and the subsequent real estate deals that her death enabled. The executed widow from this event survives now as a barely legible hapax legomena, existing only in trace form in a twelfth-century copy of a tenth-century charter – a record that documents the end of this woman's life in order to erase her from the historical register and legitimize the seizure of her lands. Exploring the known and conjectural micro-history of this woman intersectionally repositions her at the center of a remarkable network of gendered, geographic, rhetorical, moral, cultural, legal, political, religious, ethnic and authoritarian values, whose forces converge at the moment of her prosecutorial killing.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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