UCMS lecture Satoko Tokunaga: A Plague Saint in Print. St Roch and Caxton’s Golden Legend

Francesc Ribalta, San Roque (ca. 1605). Bron: Wikipedia Commons (public domain)
Saint Roch by Francesc Ribalta (c. 1605)

On June 23 the fifth and final lecture in the UCMS Lecture Series will take place online. In this lecture Satoko Tokunaga (Keio University) will address the subject of William Caxton’s printed editions of The Golden Legend. The meeting will take place on Starleaf and all are welcome to attend. To attend the meeting, please send an e-mail to ucms@uu.nl. It is also possible to attend the meeting ad hoc: a few days before the lecture, the Starleaf link will be added to this website.

Saint Roch

When the Black Death devastated Europe in the mid-fourteen century, devotion to the Fourteen Holy Helpers arose across Europe. St Roch was not originally in the group of the holy helpers, but as his cult began to flourish and gained popularity, he started to be venerated as a patron saint against plague.

The earliest veneration for St Roch can be testified in late fourteenth-century Italy, which immediately spread to other countries, including Germany, Spain, France and the Low Countries. The legend of St Roch has survived in multiple versions in both Latin and vernacular languages. In England his legend first appeared in the Golden Legend, which William Caxton translated from Jacobus de Voragine’s Legenda aurea and published in 1483/4.

It is noteworthy that the legend of St Roch was not in Caxton’s copy-text, a French version of Legenda aurea. Why did Caxton include it in his edition? This talk will first outline the textual transmission of St Roch in manuscript and print, and explore the backstage of Caxton’s printing of the this plague saint for the English market.

Satoko Tokunaga

Satoko Tokunaga is Professor at the Faculty of Letters of Keio University (Tokyo, Japan). She is a specialist of Medieval English Literature and Book History. Her current research focuses on the books printed by the English publisher William Caxton. Satoko Tokunaga obtained her PhD in Literature at Keio University in 2005.

Start date and time
End date and time
Online on Starleaf (link will follow)

You can send en email to ucms@uu.nl