University of Alberta Press

Book details

Publication date: March 2012
Features: Scholarly introduction, notes, bibliography
Keywords: Hagiography;French Revolution;Feminism
Subject(s): HISTORY / Europe / France, Hagiography;French Revolution;Feminism, RELIGION / Christianity / Saints & Sainthood, History, Gender Studies
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Sheila Delany. Sheila Delany is Professor Emerita at Simon Fraser University. A medievalist and lifelong political activist, she has already brought one forgotten author, Osbern Bokenham, into the scholarly mainstream. Delany lives in Vancouver.

“'Lives of the Saints,' or hagiography, was once a robust literary genre unto itself, and a highly respectable one at that. Today it is the opposite of intellectually respectable. The cultural distance reflected in the opposing valuations of hagiography makes it difficult for modern readers to fully appreciate Sylvain Maréchal’s parodic treatment of the genre in Nouvelle légende dorée, the work that Sheila Delany has wonderfully brought back to life in English under the title Anti-Saints.... Delany’s resurrection of the Nouvelle légende dorée is to be welcomed especially because it puts the spotlight on an author whose literary contributions to the French Revolution have heretofore been undervalued..."

Clifford D. Conner, Science & Society


"This book offers a fascinating cultural find: a strong and significant text from the first phases of the French Revolution which is virtually unknown even among specialists of the period and never reprinted in modern times.... Delany’s unearthing and decoding of Maréchal’s satirical lives of women saints is first of all a truly original intellectual achievement, thanks to an uncommon combination of scholarly competences in both medieval and French revolutionary history and literature.... Delany’s excellent translation, as sparkling and spirited and ironic as the original French, but also as stark and uncompromising, renders the way the author plays with words...." 

Erica J. Mannucci, CRCL/RCLC

ISBNs: 9780888646040 978-0-88864-604-0 Title: anti-saints