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Rebel Angels

Space and Sovereignty in Anglo-Saxon England

Jill Fitzgerald


This book examines the 'fall of the angels' tradition in early medieval sermons, saints' lives, legal documents and Old English biblical poetry. It argues that Anglo-Saxon authors adapted apocryphal and patristic accounts in ways that allowed them to express their ideas concerning ecclesiastical and secular power. -- .
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The new updated edition of David Olusoga’s vital book on black British history

"Groundbreaking" – Observer

Over six hundred years before John Milton's Paradise Lost, Anglo-Saxon authors told their own version of the fall of the angels. This book brings together various cultural moments, literary genres and relevant comparanda to recover that version, from the legal and social world to the world of popular spiritual ritual and belief. The story of the fall of the angels in Anglo-Saxon England is the story of a successfully transmitted exegetical teaching turned rich literary tradition. It can be traced through a range of genres - sermons, saints' lives, royal charters, riddles, devotional and biblical poetry - each one offering a distinct window into the ancient myth's place within the Anglo-Saxon literary and cultural imagination.
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Book publisherManchester University Press
Publication date4 May 2021
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