Click here to skip to content

Two Monks Kneeling Before St. Edmund, In John Lydgate's 'The Fall Of Princes'

Two Monks Kneeling Before St. Edmund, In John Lydgate's 'The Fall Of Princes'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1455

Shelfmark: Harley MS 1766

Item number: f.5r

Length: 29.7

Width: 20.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

John Lydgate (c.1370-c.1450) was probably born at Lidgate in Suffolk; he became a monk of Bury St. Edmunds aged 15, a priest in 1397, and during a long life was a remarkably prolific writer of English verse. 'The Fall of Princes' is a translation into English, made in about 1438/9, of a French work of c.1409, which was itself a translation of a mid 14th-century work in Latin by an Italian, Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-75). It concerns men who rise to great power, and their subsequent downfall: a warning to readers of the fickle nature of fate.

St. Edmund is shown enthroned as a king, and with the halo of a martyr, holding an arrow, his usual emblem. The kneeling figures may be intended to represent the monks of Bury St. Edmunds in a general way, or may be intended to represent specific people, such as Lydgate himself.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: