Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Prophets Abroad: The Reception of Continental Holy Women in Late-Medieval England

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Prophets Abroad: The Reception of Continental Holy Women in Late-Medieval England

Article excerpt

Prophets Abroad: The Reception of Continental Holy Women in Late-Medieval England, ed. Rosalynn Voaden (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, I996). xiii + 197 pp. ISBN o-8 5 99I-4z5-9. 35 oo.

Contains: Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, `Hildegard and the male reader: a study in insular reception'; Nicholas Watson, `Melting into God the English way: deification in the Middle English version of Marguerite Porete's Mirouer des simples dmes anienties'; Rosalynn Voaden, `The company she keeps: Mechtild of Hackeborn in late-medieval devotional compilations'; Roger Ellis, `The visionary and the canon lawyers: papal and other revelations to the Regula Salvatoris of St Bridget of Sweden'; Joan Isobel Friedman, `MS Cotton Claudius B.I.: a Middle English edition of St Bridget of Sweden's Liber celestis'; Janette Dillon, `Holy women and their confessors or confessors and their holy women? Margery Kempe and continental tradition'; Denise L. Despres, `Ecstatic reading and missionary mysticism: The Orcherd of Syon'; Diane Watt, `The prophet at home: Elizabeth Barton and the influence of Bridget of Sweden and Catherine of Siena'; Ian Johnson, 'Auctricitas? Holy women and their Middle English texts'.

This book contains nine particularly good essays on a particularly (and usefully) well-focused topic, described in the subtitle. Almost without exception, these studies are helpful and serious contributions to the field, likely to engage all who are interested in the development of late medieval British (but also continental) spirituality, and it is no discourtesy to the contributors, several of them eminent in the field, to note that the book as a whole must appear, at least to one who has published her biography, as representing important continuations of the work of Hope Emily Allen (d. x96o), to whom several contributors refer with evident esteem. Hope Allen was generally concerned, like these scholars, with the impact which continental visionary and devotional texts had upon what she called the `native English' tradition, a tradition she identified in no small part with the Ancrene Riwle. …

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