The Author and the Authors of the 'Vita Ædwardi Regis:' Women's Literary Culture and Digital Humanities


Vita Ædwardi Regis
Queen Edith
vocabulary analysis

How to Cite

Dockray-Miller, M., Drout, M. D., Kinkade, S., & Valerio, J. (2021). The Author and the Authors of the ’Vita Ædwardi Regis:’ Women’s Literary Culture and Digital Humanities. Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literatures, (8), 160–213.


Commissioned by Queen Edith in the 1060s, the Vita Ædwardi Regis (hereafter VER) has recently received substantial scholarly attention, including focus on identification of the author of this putatively anonymous text; the quest for authorial identification has until now proceeded with the assumption of sole authorship of the text. Lexomics, an open-access vocabulary analysis tool, adds digital strategies to more traditional literary and historical analyses; the Lexomic evidence indicates that the VER is a composite text built by multiple contributors under the direction of the queen. Not only did Edith's patronage cause the VER to be written, but her knowledge, and her personal and political interests, shaped the Life's content. Hers was the active, guiding intellect behind the entire text, and in two passages the VER appears not only to communicate the queen's intentions but also to preserve her voice. If any one person is to be identified as the 'author' of the VER, therefore, it is Edith, guiding a team of writers and scribes to tell her story.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Mary Dockray-Miller, Michael Drout, Sarah Kinkade, Jillian Valerio, Diane Watt


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