During my PhD viva in 1990, one of the examiners expressed his hope for an edition and study of the manuscript crusade sermons listed at the back of my thesis, and subsequently also in its published version which appeared with Cambridge University Press in 1994 as Preaching the Crusades: Mendicant Friars and the Cross in the Thirteenth Century. I am grateful to the Press, and in particular to William Davies, for having offered me the chance to follow up this examiner's suggestion, and my own wish, to make these largely unknown sermon texts available in print. I decided to include an English translation alongside the Latin text, so as to avoid the frustrating experience reported to me by a French scholar, who once was told that it was all very well editing Latin sermons, but that it was somewhat futile because so few people made the effort to read such texts in the original. I am convinced that publishing these sermons in Latin with an English translation corresponds to the needs of students and scholars alike, who will find in these texts important sources for the history of the crusades and medieval preaching.
There are a number of people who have assisted me with various aspects of this publication, each in their own way. In particular, I should like to thank Nicole Bériou, Jessalynn Bird, Alexis Charansonnet, David d'Avray, Michele Ferrari, Jean Longère and Simon Tugwell. All of them took time to discuss different points of my work and helped me out in moments when I was stuck. Many of them also gave me more than generous access to their unpublished material or wrote long informative letters to answer my queries, offering assistance far beyond the call of duty. I should also like to thank Jean Field for having performed such a thorough and thoughtful job in copy-editing this book. My greatest thanks, however, once more go to Cathy Aitken, whose critical mind and strict sense of style, exercised in many patient hours of reading and discussing my text, allowed me to bring this project to fruition.