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Writing charms : the transmission and performance of charms in Anglo-Saxon England.

Fisher, Rebecca (2011) Writing charms : the transmission and performance of charms in Anglo-Saxon England. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This is a study of two groups of Anglo-Saxon charms: six charms for remedying theft; and six charms intended to staunch bleeding. The aim of this study is to build up a picture of the life of these charms and their recording, use, performance and transmission by examining the contents and manuscript context of the charms. I argue that by modifying methodologies presented in previous scholarship, it is possible to develop a new approach to Anglo-Saxon charms, enabling the scholar to reconstruct the ways in which an Anglo-Saxon might have recorded, transmitted and performed charms. I suggest that by taking into account the content of the charms and the way in which they are structured, one can investigate the manuscript context of the charms in order to reveal the worldviews and beliefs of the scribes, users and performers of the charms. The final chapter of the thesis explores the ways in which the charms relate to oral and literate culture, material culture and performance. Thus, I break down the modem dichotomies so often applied to charms, specifically oral/written, magic/religion, prayer/charm and male/female. By combining these investigations of charm content with manuscript context, I reconstruct the Anglo-Saxon experiences of charming.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.555937
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2017 16:28
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2017 16:28
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14572

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