Evidence of recluses in eleventh-century England

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The village recluse, avowed to remain in his or her cell, was a feature of the later medieval landscape, but in what circumstances did recluses and the notion of a distinct reclusive vocation emerge? Examining the earliest recluses identifiable, this article contends that reclusion as such, though not without precedent, gained popularity in England in the third quarter of the eleventh century and acquired a terminology (already current on the Continent) in its last third as an expression of the ascetic movement within the emerging parish.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-234
Number of pages14
JournalAnglo-Saxon England
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

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