This volume presents the first study, critical edition, and translation of one of the earliest works by Richard Rolle (c. 1300-1349), a hermit and mystic whose works were widely read in England and on the European continent into the early modern period. Rolle’s explication of the Old Testament Book of Lamentations gives us a glimpse of how the biblical commentary tradition informed what would become his signature mystical, doctrinal, and reformist preoccupations throughout his career. Rolle’s English and explicitly mystical writings have been widely accessible for decades. Recent attention has turned again to his Latin commentaries, many of which have never been critically edited or thoroughly studied. This attention promises to give us a fuller sense of Rolle’s intellectual, devotional, and reformist development, and of the interplay between his Latin and English writings.
Richard Rolle: On Lamentations places Rolle’s early commentary within a tradition of explication of the Lamentations of Jeremiah and in the context of his own career. The edition collates all known witnesses to the text, from Dublin, Oxford, Prague, and Cologne. A source apparatus as well as textual and explanatory notes accompany the edition.