A Companion to 'The Doctrine of the Hert'

The Middle English Translation and its Latin and European Contexts

Edited by Denis Renevey and Christiania Whitehead

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ISBN: 9780859898218

Publication: July 16, 2010

Series: Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies

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The Doctrine of the Hert was the fifteenth-century English translation of De doctrina cordis, the thirteenth-century Latin devotional treatise addressed to nuns. The text progressively pairs the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit with seven key actions of the heart, leading readers toward contemplative unity with God. The text was a religious bestseller. It circulated widely throughout Europe between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries and was translated into numerous vernacular versions. This book consists of ten essays from an international group of scholars of medieval religion discussing the Middle English text alongside its Latin forebear, and other European vernacular translations (French, German, Spanish and Middle Dutch). Despite its medieval popularity, The Doctrine of the Hert has largely escaped the attention of scholars until recently. Yet it has much to offer regarding our understanding of late medieval female spirituality. University of Exeter Press’s new edition (published June 2009) opens up the field by providing access to the text, and this companion further establishes scholarship on this text.

Christiania Whitehead is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval English Literature at the University of Warwick. Her fields of interest lie in medieval allegory and female spirituality.

Denis Renevey is Chair of Medieval English Literature and Language at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He has published widely in the field of vernacular theology and female religious writings.

Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Notes on Editors and Contributors Introduction Denis Renevey, University of Lausanne & Christiania Whitehead, University of Warwick Part One: De doctrina cordis The Authorship of the De doctrina cordis Nigel Palmer, University of Oxford De doctrina cordis: Catechesis or Contemplation? Christiania Whitehead, University of Warwick Part Two: The Doctrine of the Hert The Doctrine of the Hert: A Middle English Translation of De doctrina cordis Anne Elizabeth Mouron, University of Oxford; 'Comfortable Wordis' - The Role of the Bible in The Doctrine of the Hert Annie Sutherland, University of Oxford Meat, Metaphor and Mysticism: Cooking the Books in The Doctrine of the Hert Vincent Gillespie, University of Oxford The Middle English Doctrine of the Hert and its Manuscript Context Catherine Innes-Parker, University of Prince Edward Island, United States Part Three: European Vernacular Translations The French Translations of De doctrina cordis Anne Elizabeth Mouron, University of Oxford A Middle Dutch Translation of De doctrina cordis: de bouc van der leeringhe van der herten in Vienna, Osterreichischen National Bibliothek, MS 15231 Marleen Cre, University of Antwerp, Belguim De doctrina cordis and fifteenth-century ecclesial reform: Reflections on the context of the German vernacular versions; Karl-Heinz Steinmetz, University of Vienna, Austria The Spanish Translation: Del ensenamiento del coracon (Salamanca, 1498) Anthony John Lappin, University of Manchester Bibliography Index

This book is a careful and ambitious attempt to cover the whole gamut of Latin and vernacular traditions of the Doctrine of the Hert, and deserves considerable credit as a pioneering work in its field which also manages to be a compendium of everything one needs to know about this text.
Nicholas Watson  

These two complementary volumes together fill a major gap in the ever-burgeoning fields of late medieval devotional literature and of medieval women’s spirituality. Students of medieval devotional literature and of medieval women’s spirituality will want to own the Companion as well as the edition of 'The Doctrine of the Hert.’
  Medieval Feminist Forum, 48.1

These insightful and rigorous essays, accompanying the new critical edition of 'The Doctrine of the Hert', will restore attention to an important family of devotional works. The Companion combines a valuable introduction to this largely neglected group of texts with a particular focus on the Middle English Doctrine. The authors are in productive conversation with each other, and the volume is clearly introduced and nicely cross-referenced.
  Ecclesiastical History 63.2,

This is an outstanding collection.
  Analecta Cartusiana, No 293

An unusually coherent collection of essays.
  Journal of the Early Book Society

These volumes ['The Doctrine of the Hert: A Critical Edition with Introduction and Commentary' and 'A Companion to the Doctrine of the Hert'] represent a very significant and welcome contribution to medieval scholarship and will undoubtedly influence much future work on vernacular religious writings.
  Medium Ævum, Vol. LXXIX

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

288 Pages

ISBN: 9780859898218

Publication: July 16, 2010

Series: Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies

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