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The Sanctity of Louis IX


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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Maps Preface List of Abbreviations Note on Sources and Translation Policies Introduction 1. Three Early Letters on the Sanctity of Louis IX 2. Geoffrey of Beaulieu's Life and Saintly Comportment of Louis, Former King of the Franks, of Pious Memory 3. William of Chartres' On the Life and Deeds of Louis, King of the Franks of Famous Memory, and on the Miracles That Declare His Sanctity 4. Pope Boniface VIII's Bull Gloria Laus Appendix: The Manuscript and Printing Histories of the Texts Select Bibliography Index

About the Author

Larry Field holds doctorates in Classics and Law and is Professor Emeritus of Criminal Justice at Western New England University. M. Cecilia Gaposchkin is Associate Professor of History and Assistant Dean of Faculty for Pre-Major Advising at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Invisible Weapons: Liturgy and the Making of Crusade Ideology, The Making of Saint Louis: Kingship, Sanctity, and Crusade in the Later Middle Ages, and coeditor of The Sanctity of Louis IX: Early Lives of Saint Louis by Geoffrey of Beaulieu and William of Chartres, all from Cornell, and the author of Blessed Louis, the Most Glorious of Kings. Sean Field is Associate Professor of History at the University of Vermont. He is the author most recently of The Beguine, the Angel and the Inquisitor: The Trials of Marguerite Porete and Guiard of Cressonessart.


"Few medieval persons inspire the fascination that the charismatic French king Louis IX (b. 1214) continues to exercise. Inheritor of the crown at age twelve, Louis IX reigned for nearly forty-five years, until his death near Tunis on 25 August 1270. The Sanctity of Louis IX: Early Lives of Saint Louis by Geoffrey of Beaulieu and William of Chartres highlights a dossier of translated texts spanning the almost twenty-seven years between Louis's death and the Bull that canonized him on 11 August 1297... [T]he book is very likely to prove useful for scholars as well as students. In contrast to the Introduction's very accessible tone, its footnotes direct scholars to a detailed bibliography of specialized works in English, French, and German. Last but not least, an appendix contains a detailed manuscript and publication history of the translated vitae."-Irit Ruth Kleiman, H-France Review (November 2014) "The Sanctity of Louis IX aims to reach both scholarly and undergraduate audiences. For students, it offers highly readable and idiomatic translations of texts that have to date only been accessible in nineteenth-century Latin editions... [T]his excellent set of translations is likely to transform teaching and research on one of the quintessential figues of the European Middle Ages."-Michael Lower,The Catholic Historical Review (Summer 2015) "...this is a very interesting and valuable addition to the number of medieval sources now available in English, introducing a selection of underused texts to a new audience of both students and scholars, as well as shedding new light on the memory and afterlife of one of the most famous medieval rulers and best-known saints."-Melanie Brunner, Speculum (January 2016) "It is high time that the 'lives of Saint Louis' of Geoffrey of Beaulieu and William of Chartres be made available in translation, since they played a critical role in the development of the cult of Louis IX, the most famous thirteenth-century crusading king and the only one to be made a saint. These texts take us to the heart of Capetian France and help illuminate both what constituted royal sanctity and the process of medieval canonization. This accessible collection of primary documents, lucidly translated and contextualized in a superb introduction, will make it possible for readers to explore the making of Saint Louis themselves."-Adam J. Davis, Denison University, author of The Holy Bureaucrat: Eudes Rigaud and Religious Reform in Thirteenth-Century Normandy "The Sanctity of Louis IX is an invaluable addition to our understanding of this saintly king. The Lives of Geoffrey of Beaulieu and William of Chartres-translated into English for the first time-and the detailed introduction shed new light on Capetian court culture, Louis's crusade expeditions, and political and devotional life at the end of Louis's reign. A wonderful complement to Jean de Joinville's biography, these Lives offer a different vantage point from which to understand Louis as a man and a king. And the afterlife of these texts-in liturgies and books of hours-demonstrates powerfully how Saint Louis was esteemed, remembered and venerated by his family and his kingdom in the decades after his death and canonization. This volume will be of great benefit to the teacher and specialist alike."-Anne E. Lester, University of Colorado at Boulder, author of Creating Cistercian Nuns: The Women's Religious Movement and Its Reform in Thirteenth-Century Champagne "By making these texts on the holiness of Louis IX available in an up-to-date English translation, this book will have a great impact on teaching. Since the translation is based on a careful review of the manuscripts, a number of errors that had entered into the published Latin editions have also been corrected. This fact makes the book a major contribution to scholarship as well. All in all it is a wonderful achievement."-William Chester Jordan, Dayton-Stockton Professor of History and Chair, Department of History, Princeton University

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