That claim may belong to any of five Anglo-Saxon women who composed letters (then a literary genre in its own right) to St Boniface in the eighth century (lffled, Egburg, Eangyth, Bugga and Lioba), or to another nun, Berthgyth, who wrote letters and poetry to her distant brother, or to Hugeburc, abbess of Heidenheim in Germany, who wrote saints' lives in the 770s. Peter Dronke has studied the work of these women in Women Writers of the Middle Ages, and while their Latin is not as much fun to read as Mabinogi, it is well-crafted writing and worthy of notice.
Dr THOMAS OWEN CLANCY
Department of Celtic
University of GlasgowReuse content