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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Members

The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact: admin.imems@durham.ac.uk

Publication details for Professor Andrew Beresford

Beresford, Andrew. (2007). The Legends of the Holy Harlots: Thaïs and Pelagia in Medieval Spanish Literature. Woodbridge: Tamesis.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

The legends of the holy harlots, Thaïs and Pelagia, are two of the most controversial accounts of female sanctity to have circulated in Spain during the Middle Ages. In this book, which reviews the origin and development of their cults, the author reconsiders the relationships that have traditionally been thought to exist between them and three of the other so-called prostitute saints: Mary Magdalene, Mary of Egypt, and Mary the niece of Abraham. This is accompanied by an evaluation of the five Castilian versions of the two legends and their Latin sources, followed by a reading of their thematic and structural significance, with particular emphasis paid to the ways in which the two women renounce their sins and embark on the slow and agonizing path of redemption. The book is completed by critical editions of the five Castilian versions.