Pre-Conquest attitudes towards the dying and the dead have major implications for every aspect of culture, society and religion of the Anglo-Saxon period; but death-bed and funerary practices have been comparatively and unjustly neglected by historical scholarship. In her wide-ranging analysis, Dr Thompson examines such practices in the context of confessional and penitential literature, wills, poetry, chronicles and homilies, to show that complex and ambiguous ideas about death were current at all levels of Anglo-Saxon society. Her study also takes in grave monuments, showing in particular how the Anglo-Scandinavian sculpture of the ninth to the eleventh centuries may indicate not only the status, but also the religious and cultural alignment of those who commissioned and made them. VICTORIA THOMPSON undertook her postgraduate work in English and Medieval Studies at the University of York and currently lectures in medieval history for New York University's London Program.
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