Ancren Riwle (äng´krĕn rē´ōōlə) or Ancrene Wisse (äng´krĕnə wĬs´ə) [Mid. Eng.,=anchoresses' rule], English tract written c.1200 by an anonymous English churchman for the instruction of three young ladies about to become religious recluses. The work, important as a sample of early Middle English prose, is a charming mixture of realism and humor, didacticism and tenderness. It is also important for its depiction of the manners and customs of the time. French and Latin versions of the work are also extant.
See edition by J. R. R. Tolkien (1962); study by A. Zettersten (1965).