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The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Mysticism


Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

Nicholas Watson, Brian Patrick McGuire, Henrietta Leyser, Alastair Minnis, Denis Renevey, Jeremy Catto, Roger Ellis, Samuel Fanous, Vincent Gillespie, Barry Windeatt, James P. Carley, Ann M. Hutchison, James Simpson
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  • Date Published: May 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521618649

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About the Authors
  • The widespread view that 'mystical' activity in the Middle Ages was a rarefied enterprise of a privileged spiritual elite has led to isolation of the medieval 'mystics' into a separate, narrowly defined category. Taking the opposite view, this book shows how individual mystical experience, such as those recorded by Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, is rooted in, nourished and framed by the richly distinctive spiritual contexts of the period. Arranged by sections corresponding to historical developments, it explores the primary vernacular texts, their authors, and the contexts that formed the expression and exploration of mystical experiences in medieval England. This is an excellent, insightful introduction to medieval English mystical texts, their authors, readers and communities. Featuring a guide to further reading and a chronology, the Companion offers an accessible overview for students of literature, history and theology.

    • First comprehensive secondary work on medieval English mystics
    • Will give students an excellent grasp of the relationship between historical and cultural events, and literary texts and developments
    • Includes the latest, cutting-edge research presented in an accessible form, supported by extensive further reading and a full chronology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The reader is left with a clear sense of both the historical development and sheer mass of spiritual writing and thought in medieval England. Seasoned scholars will learn a good deal from this collection, but it will also make an excellent classroom text.' Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521618649
    • length: 340 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction Nicholas Watson
    2. c.1080–1215: culture and history Brian Patrick McGuire
    3. c.1080–1215: texts Henrietta Leyser
    4. 1215–1349: culture and history Alastair Minnis
    5. 1215–1349: texts Denis Renevey
    6. 1349–1412: culture and history Jeremy Catto
    7. 1349–1412: texts Roger Ellis and Samuel Fanous
    8. 1412–1534: culture and history Vincent Gillespie
    9. 1412–1534: texts Barry Windeatt
    10. 1534–1550s: contexts James P. Carley and Ann M. Hutchison
    11. 1534–50: texts James Simpson
    Guide to further reading
    Glossary of theological terms

  • Editors

    Samuel Fanous, University of Oxford
    Samuel Fanous is Head of Publications at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

    Vincent Gillespie, University of Oxford
    Vincent Gillespie is J. R. R. Tolkien Professor of English Literature and Language at the University of Oxford.


    Nicholas Watson, Brian Patrick McGuire, Henrietta Leyser, Alastair Minnis, Denis Renevey, Jeremy Catto, Roger Ellis, Samuel Fanous, Vincent Gillespie, Barry Windeatt, James P. Carley, Ann M. Hutchison, James Simpson

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