Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Type of Paper/Work



Dr. Martin Warren, Dr. David Foote, Dr. Catherine Craft-Fairchild


The Desert Fathers, and other ascetics like them, were incredibly influential both in their time and the ages that followed. Though England during the Anglo-Saxon period did not have the same landscape many of the ascetic holy men from Egypt and Syria resided in, Saint Guthlac ventured into the "desert" of his country, the harsh fens of eastern England. Guthlac's vita, as written by Felix, portrays the saint in a manner reminiscent of the ascetics of the desert. By utilizing the expectations associated with these prior narratives, Felix was able to portray Guthlac in a way that helped bring more people into the Catholic faith and secure his lord's position of authority. Felix's conscious use of specific framework and rhetorical strategies helped assure a productive relationship between medieval England and Rome.


Guthlac, Felix, Catholicism

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.