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The Middle English 'Mirror'
An Edition Based on Bodleian Library, MS Holkham misc. 40

K. Blumreich Moore (ed.)
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XLVIII+558 p., 155 x 230 mm, 2003
ISBN: 978-2-503-51438-3
Languages: English, Middle English
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Blumreich argues that the sermon exempla (dedicated to 'Aline' in order to remedy her romantic tendencies) assert different, but not particularly better, virtues than what she might have gleaned from a romance, especially when these moral tales are considered from a feminist perspective.

Robert de Gretham's Mirror is a collection of sixty sermons for Sundays and feast-days throughout the liturgical year. Originally composed in Anglo-Norman (c. 1250-1300), and later translated into Middle English, the texts was dedicated to 'Aline', a lady of high status whose literary tastes ran more towards romaunces & gestes than prayer books. In an attempt to remedy the situation, Gretham proposed that Aline read the Mirror instead. In it, Gretham argued, she would surely find material more profitable for the soul than stories of 'Tristrem [or] Gy of Warrewyk'. The question is this: did Aline find 'better' stories among the tales included in the Mirror? Through an analysis of Gretham's clerical discourse, Blumreich argues that the sermon exempla intended for Aline's spiritual improvement assert different, but not particularly better, virtues than what she might have gleaned from a romance, especially when these moral tales are considered from a feminist perspective.

Interest Classification:
Religion (including History of Religion) & Theology
Christian devotion & forms of religious expression
Sermons & preaching
Medieval & Modern (Indo-European) Languages & Literatures
English language & literature
Middle English language & literature
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : genres & specific topics
Women's & gender studies

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