Book Series Medieval Church Studies, vol. 41

Late Medieval Devotional Compilations in England

Marleen Cré, Diana Denissen, Denis Renevey (eds)

  • Pages: xii + 464 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:3 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2020

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-57477-6
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-57478-3
  • E-book
  • Available

Stretching the canon of medieval literature in English to include devotional compilations.


Devotional compilations were the staple spiritual food for lay and religious readers in the late medieval period. As well thought-out assemblages of texts or extracts of texts, they provided readers with material from basic catechetic instruction to advice and tools for the practice of contemplation. Their exploration enables a more sophisticated understanding of the authorial roles played by compilers, the reading practices of their recipients, and the patronage of compilations carried out by religious and secular individuals and communities. It also offers a new window into late medieval English religiosity as well as demonstrating the complexity and creativity associated with compiling activity.

In this volume, leading scholars in the field of medieval English literature consider the role and impact of a substantial number of devotional compilations, offering new evidence about the manuscripts, sources, and contexts that frame this important corpus.




Part I: The Dynamics of Devotional Compilations

Building a Bestseller: The Priest, the Peartree, and the Compiler — VINCENT GILLESPIE

Compilation: The Gift that Keeps on Giving — RALPH HANNA

Theorizing the Miscellaneous and the Middle English Biblical Paratext — IAN JOHNSON

A Talkyng of the Loue of God: The Art of Compilation and the Compiled Self — ANNIE SUTHERLAND

Reading Late Medieval Devotional Compilations in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries — MARGARET CONNOLLY

Part II: Compiling the Compilation: Manuscript Transmission

Form and Fluidity: Reshaping The Pore Caitif and Contemplations of the Dread and Love of God in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 423 and Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 938 — DIANA DENISSEN

Suffering for Love: Compilation and Asceticism in Life of Soul — SARAH MACMILLAN

Compilers’ Voices in Cambridge, University Library MS Ii. 6. 40 — MARLEEN CRÉ

Part III: Compilation and Devotional Practice

A Hagiographic Compilation of Medieval Native Women in the South English Legendaries: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 779 — MAMI KANNO

Devotional Compilations and Lollard Sanctity in a Fifteenth-Century Anthology — NICOLE RICE

‘When is a man proude. Whe[n] he wol not beknowen suche as he is’: Knowing oneself in London, British Library, MS Additional 27787 — SHERI SMITH

Resignation or Rebuttal?: Three Biblical Exempla in Richard Whitford’s Dyuers Holy Instrucyons and Teachynges — BRANDON ALAKAS

Part IV: Mystics Compiled

‘Desyrable is thi Name’: Fashioning the Name of Jesus in Some Devotional Compilations — DENIS RENEVEY

The Scale of Perfection in Devotional Compilations — MICHAEL G. SARGENT

The Liber Specialis Gratiae in a Devotional Anthology: London, British Library, MS Harley 494 — NAOE KUKITA YOSHIKAWA

Part V: Texts, Images and Affect

The Living Book of Cambridge, Trinity College MS B.15.42: Compilation, Meditation, and Vision — LAURA SAETVEIT MILES

The Desert of Religion: A Textual and Visual Compilation — ANNE MOURON

What Grace in Presence: Affective Literacies in The Chastising of God’s Children — A.S. LAZIKANI


The Terminology and Ethos of Vernacular Compilatio — NICHOLAS WATSON


Index of Manuscripts

General Index