Book Series Textes vernaculaires du moyen âge, vol. 24

Pore Caitif

A Middle English Manual of Religion and Devotion

Karine Moreau-Guibert Ɨ

  • Pages: 296 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:2 b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2020

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58293-1
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58465-2
  • E-book
  • Available

The first critical edition of a well-known text of considerable importance, eagerly awaited.


“(…) this Pore Caitif edition is a welcome step forward and will hopefully form the basis of further research to this fascinating Middle English text.” (Diana Denissen, in The Medieval Review, 03/09/2021)

“(…) the edition is an invaluable contribution to texts and studies of late Middle English. It will be fascinating to see what emerges from it.” (Luke Penkett, in Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures, 48.1/05, p. 111)


Karine Moreau-Guibert was senior lecturer in English, University of Poitiers and CESCM (Poitiers)


The Pore Caitif is an anonymous late fourteenth-century manual of devotion and religious instruction destined for a lay readership. The text, in its various forms, circulated widely and was evidently very popular, as the fifty of so extant manuscripts and fragments readily attest. Of them, no fewer that twenty-eight transmit a full text showing remarkable fidelity to the now presumably lost archetype. As such, the Pore Caitif invites comparison with the considerable production and diffusion of religious texts in English which figure prominently in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In this respect, it is to note that some critics have argued for the presence of Lollard interpolators or commentators in a number of the extant manuscripts, including the influence of the Wycliffite Bible translation.

This edition will be published in two volumes. This, the first, provides a full Introduction to the manuscripts and their transmission, classifying them in groups, while examining some of the trends observable in some of the more notable variants they inevitably preserve. A commentary on the text is followed by a full glossary. The second volume will discuss manuscript relationships and the problems arising therefrom.

À une époque où les médiévistes, toutes disciplines confondues, se tournent de plus en plus vers les sources en langues vernaculaires, la série Textes vernaculaires du moyen âge veut répondre aux besoins des chercheurs, confirmés où débutants, travaillant dans ce domaine. Le principal but (mais non le seul) de sa création est la publication de textes qui, jusqu'ici, n'ont jamais bénéficié d'un traitement éditorial et qui, par conséquent, demeurent inconnus où mal connus de la communauté scientifique.


Abbreviations and symbols
Abbreviations and short titles


General introduction
Identification of the Pore Caitif
The various forms of the text

The transmission of the text
Which edition? The adopted method
Textual collation and selection
Selected manuscripts and base text

Critical Edition
Editorial procedures and conventions
Description of the manuscripts


Explanatory notes on text and emendations
Index Nominum
Reference composite text

Primary sources
Secondary Sources
Electronic resources