Ancrene Wisse / Guide for Anchoresses

A Translation

Translated with commentary by Bella Millett

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ISBN: 9780859897761

Publication: June 26, 2009

Series: Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies

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This early thirteenth-century West Midlands guide for women recluses is not only one of the major works of early Middle English prose, but is also a key document for the development of medieval spirituality. It reflects the 'democratization' of religious experience which was one of the outcomes of the 'Medieval Reformation'. Drawing on new kinds of pastoral literature designed to appeal to a more general audience, the insight, wit and charm of Ancrene Wisse led to its adaptation for other readers, both religious and lay, and it continued in use until the end of the Middle Ages. This new annotated translation, based on the text in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 402, incorporates the most recent research on Ancrene Wisse's contemporary context and offers an accessible, up-to-date introduction for both scholars and students.

Bella Millett is a Professor of English at the University of Southampton. The main focus of her research has been on a group of West Midlands prose works, and she has edited Hali Meithhad (1982), co-edited Medieval English Prose for Women: Selections from the Katherine Group and Ancrene Wisse (1990) with Jocelyn Wogan-Browne and has jointly produced an annotated bibliography, Ancrene Wisse, The Katherine Group, and the Wooing Group (1996).

Preface to this edition Introduction 1. Ancrene Wisse and its Contexts 2. Sources and Analogues 3. The Form of the Work 4. The Textual History of Ancrene Wisse 5. This Translation Guide for Anchoresses Preface Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Explanatory Notes Bibliography 1. A Note on Further Reading 2. Abbreviations and Short Titles 3. Editions and Secondary Works General Index Scriptural Quotations Index

It is a text that all students of English Literature should read but which few could in its original language, making a good modern translation an essential to the work’s modern dissemination.  Bella Millett’s new translation is extremely valuable for this reason alone, but it is an additional boon in being the fruit of many years’ research on the original Middle English manuscripts by the current leading scholar in the field of Ancrene Wisse studies. Such helpful tools, coupled with the very readable lucid prose in which the entire translation and commentary have been rendered will no doubt be greeted with thanks from the students and non-specialists whom this translation is meant to serve, as well as from the specialists who now have an exceptionally well done translation to use in their classrooms.
  English Studies Vol.92, No. 4, pp.464-475

Format: Paperback

Size: 216 x 138 mm

384 Pages

ISBN: 9780859897761

Publication: June 26, 2009

Series: Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies

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