Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Ancrene Wisse: A Corrected Edition of the Text in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 402, with Variants from Other Manuscripts

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Ancrene Wisse: A Corrected Edition of the Text in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 402, with Variants from Other Manuscripts

Article excerpt

Ancrene Wisse: A Corrected Edition of the Text in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 402, with Variants from Other Manuscripts, Vol. Il, ed. Bella Millett, drawing on the uncompleted edition by E. J. Dobson, with a glossary and additional notes by Richard Dance, English Text Society Original Series 326 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). lvii + 477 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-920576-9. £65.00. This second volume completes Bella Millett's excellent edition of Ancrene Wisse. It contains the general introduction, textual commentary, bibliography, and glossary; the edited text, critical apparatus, and textual introduction have already been published (EETS os 325, 2005).

By relating Ancrene Wisse to contemporary European developments in preaching and pastoral care the general introduction, whilst not covering all aspects of the text, succeeds in placing it more securely in its historical and literary contexts. Millett reminds us that it is 'an anonymous work, composed for unnamed users, and its exact date, place of composition, and institutional context remain uncertain' (p. ix). She nevertheless gives a lucid explanation of the Ancrene Wisse group, a cogent argument for dating the text post1 21 5, and a reassessment of its place of composition, showing that E.J. Dobson's bold solution, 'Only Wigmore Abbey fits' (p. xv), was far too neat. Dobson's conclusions are also amended at various points in the textual commentary, by far the largest part of this volume. …

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