Edith the Gentle Swan

There has been published fairly recently a book by Bill Flint entitled, Edith the Fair: Visionary of Walsingham.[1] In this work, the author links Edith the Fair to the “Lady of the Manor” who had a vision of Our Lady at Walsingham commonly known to as Rychold” or “Richeldis de Faverches”. This is a pleasing discovery if true as Edith was the wife of Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England before the Conquest therefore it allows insights into Anglo-Saxon Catholicism as well as Catholicism in England in general.

Upon looking up who Edith was, I found she was also known as Edith Swanneck (or Swan-Neck) which comes from the folk etymology which made her in Old220px-Boys_King_Arthur_-_N._C._Wyeth_-_p16 English as swann hnecca, “swan neck”, most likely a corrupted form of swann hnesce, “Gentle Swan”. Interestingly, this brings to mind the Hyperborean “Knight of the Swan” to which Evola alludes to in “The Soul of Chivalry”,[2] who along with knights such as Lancelot and Tristan devoted themselves to women in the same way that Saint Bernard devoted himself to Our Lady.[3]

Could there be something more to this? It is certainly comforting to know that there is a woman who, as a historical figure by which one can devote oneself to Our Lady, has an epithet of “Gentle Swan” which could be linked to devotional themes of chivalrous knights and Saints.

This is a topic that could certainly be fruitful after further study.

[1] There is a short biography of Bill Flint as well as an overview of the book available here; http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page543.html

[2] Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, p. 80.

[3] Guénon, Insights into Christian Esoterism, p. 109.


Author: Auld Wat

Delving into the depths of Medieval Europe; the last great Traditional Aryan civilisation.

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