Etheldreda's World

by Charles Moseley

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By any standards, Etheldreda was a remarkable woman in a time of remarkable women. Far from being the wishy washy figure of so much stained glass, she was – had to be – a tough operator.

Great saints are not pushovers. She got her way. She changed the map in the Not-Yet-England of her time (c. 636 AD-679 AD).

What was it like to be a Princess then, an Abbess in a land where the old gods were still honoured by many? What power did women in her position wield? What did it mean to be revered as a Saint?

Dr Charles Moseley's lively account puts Etheldreda in context, painting a vivid picture which reveals what it was like to be a nun in those days, how marriage was viewed, what the countryside which these intrepid people crisscrossed looked like.

2023 marks 1350 years since St Etheldreda first established a monastery in Ely in AD 673. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have flocked to Ely Cathedral in her name and churches across the country have been named in her honour.

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Apr 06, 2023


About the Author:

Charles Moseley grew up on the Lancashire coast, went up to Cambridge to read English, and never left.  His varied career includes being a printer, a publisher and a peasant, but has mainly been teaching literature in Cambridge and attempting to persuade his victims to take this pursuit seriously. He has lived in a little Fenland village for a very long time. He also writes books.

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