Text, Sign, and History in the Miracles of Sainte Foy
As Ashley and Sheingorn show, differing agendas shaped the miracle stories over time. The first author, Bernard of Angers, used his narratives to critique popular religion and to establish his own literary reputation, while the monks who continued the collection tried to enhance their monastery's prestige. Because these stories were rhetorical constructions, Ashley and Sheingorn argue, we cannot use them directly as sources of historical data. Instead, they demonstrate how analyzing representations common to groups of miracle stories—such as negative portrayals of Muslims on the eve of the Crusades—can reveal the traces of history.