Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bone fide

Where are the bones of St Edmund? It's not a problem I would normally bend my mind to, preoccupied as it usually is with football, poetry and what to have for lunch. But I've just finished reading a book on the subject and it seems that they are not where they should be, i.e. here at home in Bury St Edmunds, seat of the former shrine to the once patron saint of England, martyred in 869 and so on. I never doubted that they were stashed locally but, according to this compelling book, the skull is in a church in Toulouse (where they venerate the old boy a lot better than we do), the skeleton sans fibia is (or was) in a private chapel in Arundel, and only a few of the teeth are somewhere in this borough, kindly donated by the nice people in Toulouse during the 60's.
What is the truth? And is it important? Well, I think it is. If Dan Brown can make a fortune with his tall tales of the Holy Grail and a bloodline right down from Jesus to the present, then surely I can milk success from the true story of a saint's lost bones, pulled (literally) between England and France since Mediaeval times. The search is on...
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