Emma of Normandy, twice Queen by her successive marriages to Aethelred II and Cnut, spent part of her life in exile under the protection of Count Baldwin of Flanders. To help promote the interests of her sons, Harthacnut and Edward (who became 'the Confessor'), she commissioned an exaggeratedly flattering biography of Cnut and herself around the time of Harthacnut's succession (1040). The 'Encomium' (panegyric or lofty praise) is an important early example of biography written in secular interests, in a period when 'lives' promoted sainthood, as well as providing a rare 11th-century narrative history. The only surviving medieval manuscript of the Encomium, this copy was made in Normandy, probably at St Omer and possibly for Emma herself. The frontispiece shows Queen Emma receiving the book from its author, a monk of St Omer whose name has been lost. To the side, her two sons look on. The picture is based upon standard dedication or presentation images, but in this period these usually show off the monastic context of the book's production. Suited to the book's purpose, Emma's picture underscores royal patronage and succession.