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British Academy publishes ‘A Maid with the Dragon: The Cult of St Margaret of Antioch in Medieval England’

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The British Academy has published a new monograph on the cult of St Margaret of Antioch.

A Maid with the Dragon: The Cult of St Margaret of Antioch in Medieval England by British Academy post-doctoral fellow Dr Juliana Dresvina is the first comprehensive interdisciplinary study of the cult of one of the most famous saints of the medieval period.

Legend tells of St Margaret’s confrontation with a dragon-shaped devil, which swallowed her and then burst into pieces.

The cult of St Margaret gained popularity in England from Anglo-Saxon times. Hundreds of images and copies of her life are known to have been made, and over two hundred churches were dedicated to her.

Examining Greek, Latin, Old English, Middle English and Anglo-Norman versions of Margaret’s life and their cultural context, Dresvina’s first monograph traces the changes to the story in the medieval period. Her work also considers the continuation of the legend into popular fairy tales and contemporary stereotypes.

Dr Juliana Dresvina studied History, Philology and Theology at Moscow State University and Oxford before receiving her PhD in English from Cambridge in 2007. She was a British Academy post-doctoral fellow 2011-14 and is currently a tutor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Culture at Middlebury – CMRS Oxford Humanities Program, a research member of Wolfson College, Oxford, and a visiting scholar at St Edmund's College, Cambridge.

A Maid with the Dragon: The Cult of St Margaret of Antioch in Medieval England is published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press. For more information, please see here.

Read Dr Dresvina's British Academy blog here.

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