The French of England:
Multilingualism in Practice, c. 1100-c. 1500

27th Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval Studies, Fordham University
Friday, March 30 - Sunday, April 1, 2007
At the Lincoln Center Campus of Fordham University

French Style(s) at Barking: Clemence of Barking and the Life of Edward the Confessor
Delbert Russell, University of Waterloo

The two well-known lives written in the French of medieval England at Barking Abbey, that of Edward the Confessor by an anonymous nun, and that of Catherine of Alexandria by Clemence of Barking, have been studied by William MacBain, and by other scholars after him, in an attempt to determine if there were two nuns writing in French at Barking, or just one who produced two hagiographical works at different periods in her life.  This paper will attempt to refine the discussion by a more extensive analysis of the lexical and stylistic elements of these works, using electronic versions of the texts.  Both lives are part of the unique Campsey collection, now available in electronic form, making comparison between the texts simpler, and allowing a wider comparison os selected stylistic and lexical elements with other lives in the Campsey corpus.

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