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By M. Dockray-Miller

Motherhood and Mothering in Anglo-Saxon England sifts in the course of the ancient facts to explain and learn a global of violence and intrigue, the place moms had to devise their very own platforms to guard, nurture, and educate their youngsters. Mary Dockray-Miller casts a maternal eye on Bede, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and Beowulf to bare moms who created rituals, genealogies, and associations for his or her childrens and themselves. Little-known ancient figures - queens, abbesses, and different noblewomen - used their energy in court docket and convent to supply schooling, therapy, and security for his or her young children, displaying us that moms of 1000 years in the past and moms of this present day had some of the similar objectives and aspirations.

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Sample text

Eorcenberht, who succeeded his father on the throne, married Seaxburh and had Egberht (among others). Eormenred had two sons (Æbelberht and Æbelred) and at least two daughters (the texts are unclear here), Eormenburh and Eormengyb. Eafe/Æbbe may be another daughter of Eormenred, although some texts equate her with Eormenburh. Egberht succeeded to his father’s throne in 664, and sometime between 664 and Egberht’s death in 673, his cousins Æbelberht and Æbelred were murdered, either at his direction or by the machinations of one of his advisors.

In insula Thanet” (Birch #149) or “Mildrithae abbatissae de Menstre” (Birch #150). This land grant in Lyminge from the son of the reigning king to his first cousin once-removed hints that Mildrib, like her cousin Werburh who governed a number of monasteries, may have been abbess of Lyminge and Thanet simultaneously. Such a position would indicate the extent of her political influence to be even greater than earlier supposed; it also indicates the explicitly matrilineal nature of the abbess’s position in this monastery.

The mix of sources and references in the text, complicated by the vague pronouns, makes sure identification of the purpose of the ritual and its performers impossible. Neither Cockayne nor Swanton, nor even Hollis, has any actual evidence to prove that these women are Seaxburh and Hereswib, Seaxburh and Eormenhild, or Æbbe and Mildrib. If we accept that Lambeth 210 and 211 are parts of a larger and more complicated version of a Kentish royal genealogy than those now extant—a version that focused on the women of the house, and that detailed their lives, relationships, and accomplishments—then the beauty of folio 210 is that heo and hyre modor could refer to any of a number of mother-daughter “couples,” to return to Irigaray’s language with which this study began.

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