England in Europe: English Royal Women and Literary Patronage, c.1000–c.1150

Elizabeth M. Tyler, England in Europe: English Royal Women and Literary Patronage, c.1000–c.1150, Toronto University Press (Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series), 2017.


In England in Europe, Elizabeth Tyler focuses on two histories: the Encomium Emmae Reginae, written for Emma the wife of the Æthelred II and Cnut, and The Life of King Edward, written for Edith the wife of Edward the Confessor.

Tyler offers a bold literary and historical analysis of both texts and reveals how the two queens actively engaged in the patronage of history-writing and poetry to exercise their royal authority. Tyler’s innovative combination of attention to intertextuality and regard for social networks emphasizes the role of women at the centre of Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman court literature. In doing so, she argues that both Emma and Edith’s negotiation of conquests and factionalism created powerful models of queenly patronage that were subsequently adopted by individuals such as Queen Margaret of Scotland, Countess Adela of Blois, Queen Edith/Matilda, and Queen Adeliza. England in Europe sheds new lighton the connections between English, French, and Flemish history-writing and poetry and illustrates the key role Anglo-Saxon literary culture played in European literature long after 1066.


  • Introduction
  • 1: Vernacular Foundations
  • 2: Fictions of Family: The Encomium Emmae Reginae and Virgil’s Aeneid
  • 3: Talking about History: The Encomium Emmae Reginae and the Court of Harthacnut
  • 4: The Politics of Allusion in Eleventh-Century England: Classical Poets and the Vita Ædwardi
  • 5: Reading Through the Conquest
  • 6: The Women of 1066
  • 7: Edith Becomes Matilda
  • Conclusion: Endings and Beginnings


Elizabeth M. Tyler is a professor of medieval literature in the Department of English and Related Literature and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York. She is a co-director of the Centre for Medieval Literature at the University of Southern Denmark and the University of York.


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