Let these things be written

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Whyte, Fiona
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University College Cork
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Let These Things be Written comprises an historical novel and a critical commentary on the creative process which informed it. The novel is a re-imagining of the life of St Cuthbert and is presented from the point of view of the anonymous monk of Lindisfarne who compiled Cuthbert’s first Vita or Life. It follows the journey of this monk from reluctant child novice to the unlikely author of an historic text which spawned a series of hagiographical accounts of the saint. The novel also explores the intertwining political and religious affairs and crises of the time and engages with themes of spiritual faith, betrayal and loss, and the enduring legacy of the past. The critical commentary documents the creative process of the novel. The first section outlines the sources, the historical context and the research undertaken. The second considers the role of fact and truth in both hagiography and historical fiction and examines the parallel concerns of the two genres. The final part is a reflection on the evolution of the writing journey and addresses the creative issues which arose on the way. It examines the challenges of repurposing hagiographical texts for fictional ends, of balancing known or accepted facts with the need for creative originality and the translation of an iconic historical figure into a fictional character. For the purposes of the PhD I have divided the novel into two sections. The thesis comprises the first half of the novel and the critical commentary. The second half of the novel is placed in the appendices, along with translations of Latin quotations from the psalms used in the novel.
Creative writing , Historial novel , Hagiography , St Cuthbert , Lindisfarne , Miracles
Whyte, F. 2020. Let these things be written. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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