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The Magic Of Englishness In St. Kenelm And Havelok The Dane

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Chapter Summary

A child protagonist and specific plot details in St. Kenelm in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108's (L) South English Legendary (SEL) strike a remarkable parallel to the L romance, Havelok the Dane. Like numerous other poems in the L SEL and along with King Horn, the romance Havelok and St. Kenelm thematize England and Englishness. St.Kenelm is one of the Mercian saints cultivated with other Anglo-Saxon royal saints in the hagiographical revival that occurred soon after the Norman Conquest. A key feature of the Englishness of the St. Kenelm preface is the bond forged with a present English audience. In Kenelm, the past is always being materialized in the present as the narrator relates an English past as seen in its landmarks and buildings, to a present sense of an audience's English identity. Fantasy is discussed primarily in relation to medieval romance or the modern fantasy genre.

Keywords: englishness; Havelok; medieval romance; South English Legendary (SEL); St. Kenelm



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