Walter Bower's fifteenth-century historical chronicle of Scotland, the Scotichronicon, was the authoritative national narrative for the Scots of the period. A blend of propaganda and history, the work is shaped by Bower's separatist agenda and desire to create a cohesive Scottish identity free, as far as possible, from English attacks. St. Birgitta of Sweden is one of the sources Bower uses in his strategy of writing a history that impacts deeply on his present time. Despite being highly Anglophobic, Bower inserts Birgitta's messages from Christ repeatedly in his text, even though she was particularly strenuously claimed by the English as a de facto national saint. This paper explores the use of Birgitta of Sweden and her visions in Bower's text, examining his harnessing of the saint's authority as divine messenger and putting this divine insight to his own, nationalistic purposes.
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Vol. 2013 • No. sp4