Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Revelation of the Monk of Eynsham

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Revelation of the Monk of Eynsham

Article excerpt

The Revelation of the Monk of Eynsham, ed. Robert Easting, EETS, OS 318 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). c + 277 pp.; 2 plates. ISBN 0-19-722321-4. £50.00. In The Revelation of the Monk of Eynsham the narrator gives a vivid account of his trance-induced journey to purgatory and paradise. The souls of twenty-seven contemporary characters encountered there include the elite of church and state, and their lively confessions render this one of the most personalized and extensive medieval visions of the hereafter. Astonishingly, though this late fifteenth-century Middle English prose text has been previously printed and modernized, this is the first modern edition. Robert Easting prints the Middle English text in parallel with its Latin source, the Visio monachi de Eynsham, a late twelfth-century Latin prose text of Benedictine origin, choosing the C-text version from Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Selden Supra 66 because of its closeness to the Middle English translator's source. The Visio's complex textual history is neatly summarized; there is less to say about the Revelation which survives only in two incunabula produced in London circa 1483 by William de Machlinia, a Belgian who seems not to have realized the text's dialectal distinctness. Easting discusses the language at length, refining previous assessments to locate the text to the Kidderminster area (a map might have helped here); detailed lists of vocabulary not adequately recorded in OED and/or MED are provided. …

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