The Vita Patricii was not commissioned to document the life of a fifth-century missionary but to record the legend of a twelfth-century saint. It offered a carefully crafted version of Patrick as a figure who was recognizable in both word and deed but also as one who was clothed in contemporary fashions and values and .... whose face was turned firmly towards a twelfth century present...
...The Vitae can now be recognised for the complex, carefully constructed and communicative texts that they are. Jocelin too, must be reconsidered. As an author whose movements and patronage have been shown to straddle various geo-political, ecclesiastical and cultural boundaries, he emerges from this study as a potentially significant figure for our understanding of wider British history during this period, a time which saw the increasing permeability of these borders. This is not to make an extravagant claim about Jocelin's importance but merely to bring greater attention to the work of a writer who has been undervalued for far too long.
Helen Birkett, The Saints' Lives of Jocelin of Furness: Hagiography, Patronage and Ecclesiastical Politics ( York Medieval Press, 2010), 51-2, 285.
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