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1 October 2013 Textual Authority and Symbolic Capital: Birgitta of Sweden's Inclusion in Walter Bower's Scotichronicon
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Abstract

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.

Alicia Spencer-Hall "Textual Authority and Symbolic Capital: Birgitta of Sweden's Inclusion in Walter Bower's Scotichronicon," Journal of the North Atlantic 2013(sp4), (1 October 2013). https://doi.org/10.3721/037.004.sp423
Published: 1 October 2013
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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