Felix's Life of Saint Guthlac
Texts, Translation and Notes
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of Pages: 224
Width: 13.8 cm
Height: 21.6 cm
Written around 730–740 the Life of Guthlac by the monk Felix is an important and colourful source for the obscure early history of East Anglia and the Fens. It describes how the youthful Guthlac (674–714) won fame at the head of a Mercian warrior band fighting the British on the borders of Wales before entering the monastery at Repton at the age of twenty-four. Distinguished from the first by his piety and asceticism, Guthlac moved on around 700 to a solitary life on Crowland, an uninhabited island accessible only by boat deep in the wild and desolate marshland separating Mercia and East Anglia. Here he built a shelter cut into the side of a burial-mound in which he lived austerely, skin-clad in the manner of the Desert Fathers, for the rest of his life. Tormented by demons but consoled by visions of angels, Guthlac gained a reputation for sanctity and miraculous healing which spread far afield and continued to grow after his death. This Life vividly reflects the cult of St Guthlac as it existed in East Anglia only a generation later.