The only existing copy of La Vie Seinte Audree is contained in a manuscript in the British Library, Additional 70513, recorded in the early 14th century. However, scholars have proposed a date of composition for the poem itself in the late 12th or early 13th centuries.
La Vie Seinte Audree was recently attributed to the French medieval poet Marie de France. The lines in which the author declares her identity are strikingly similar to what one finds elsewhere in the works of Marie de France:
- Ici escris mon non Marie
- Pur ce ke sois remembree
- La Vie Seinte Audree, verses 4624-4625
- Me numeral pur remembrance
- Marie ai nun, si sui de France
- Les Fables by Marie de France, epilogue, verses 3-4
In addition, the source materials for the Seinte Audree would have been found in Ely, which is near Sawtry, the location of Marie's Latin sources for her Espurgatoire Seint Patriz. However this attribution is not accepted by all and it is plausible that both 'Seinte Audree' and the [Espurgatoire Seint Patriz] have common author who is not Marie de France.
While La Vie Seinte Audree is allegedly a translation of a Latin text, the original source material is unknown. Rupert T. Pickens suggests that, in actuality, Marie de France combined three Latin texts to create her Seinte Audree: the life of Saint Etheldreda, De secunda translatione, and Miracula Sancte Etheldrede.
- McCash, June Hall. "Introduction." The Life of Saint Audrey: A Text by Marie de France. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2006.
- Cited in McCash xiv.