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Medieval Writings on Female Spirituality

Author Various
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On sale May 28, 2002 | 320 Pages | 978-0-14-043925-0
Biographies, poetic compositions, works that are mystical, prophetic, visionary, or meditative: the selections here reflect the developments in medieval piety, particularly in the link between female spirituality and the body. Included are the dramatic visionary writings of Hildegard of Bingen; letters and poems by Hadewijch expressing passionate love for God; and Marguerite Porete's allegorical poem "The Mirror of Simple Souls," a dialogue between Love and Soul that was condemned as heretical. Also included are biographies written by male ecclesiastics of women such as Christine the Astonishing, whose extraordinary behavior included being resurrected at her own funeral; revelations received by Bridget of Sweden, the first woman to found a religious order; and excerpts from The Book of Margery Kempe, in which Margery imagines herself as a servant caring for the Virgin Mary in her childhood.

This volume, edited by Elizabeth Spearing, who also prepared some of the translations, features a rich introduction to the lives and religious experiences of its subjects, as well as full explanatory notes.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
ALEXANDER MACLEOD was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His first collection of stories, Light Lifting, was a national bestseller, won an Atlantic Book Award, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, and the Commonwealth Book Prize. His most recent book of fiction, Animal Person, won the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, was named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, CBC Books, and the Globe and Mail, and includes stories that were featured in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2019, he won an O. Henry Award for his story “Lagomorph.” MacLeod holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill University. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

SOUVANKHAM THAMMAVONGSA's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best American Non-Required Reading, The Journey Prize Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut book of fiction, How to Pronounce Knife, won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2021 Trillium Book Award, and was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN America Open Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Award, and one of Time's Must-Read Books of 2020. Thammavongsa is also the author of four poetry books: Light, winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found; Small Arguments, winner of the ReLit Award; and, most recently, Cluster. Born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, she was raised and educated in Toronto, where she is at work on her first novel. View titles by Various
Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Elizabeth Spearing

Introduction by Elizabeth Spearing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Acknowledgments and a Note on the Texts

Abbreviations

Hildegard of Bingen

Extracts from the Vita (translated by Peter Dronke)

Extracts from a Letter to Guibert de Gembloux (translated by Peter Dronke)

Extracts from Scivias (translated by Mother Columba Hart and Jane Bishop)

Christina of Markyate

Extracts from The Life of Christina of Markyate (translated by C.H. Talbot)

Hadewijch

Extracts from the Letters (translated by Mother Columba Hart)

Extracts from the Poems in Stanzas (translated by Mother Columba Hart)

Extracts from the Visions (translated by Mother Columba Hart)

Christine the Astonishing

The Life of St. Christine the Astonishing (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Mary of Oignies

Extracts from The Life of St. Mary of Oignies (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Elizabeth of Spaalbeek

The Life of St. Elizabeth of Spaalbeek (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Marguerite Porete

Extracts from The Mirror of Simple Souls (translated by A.C. Spearing)

Bridget of Sweden

Extracts from the Liber Celestis (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Julian of Norwich

Extracts from Revelations of Divine Love (Short Text) (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Extracts from Revelations of Divine Love (Long Text) (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Anonymous

A Revelation of Purgatory (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Margery Kempe

Extracts from the The Book of Margery Kempe (Book I) (translated by B.A. Windeatt)

Notes

About

Biographies, poetic compositions, works that are mystical, prophetic, visionary, or meditative: the selections here reflect the developments in medieval piety, particularly in the link between female spirituality and the body. Included are the dramatic visionary writings of Hildegard of Bingen; letters and poems by Hadewijch expressing passionate love for God; and Marguerite Porete's allegorical poem "The Mirror of Simple Souls," a dialogue between Love and Soul that was condemned as heretical. Also included are biographies written by male ecclesiastics of women such as Christine the Astonishing, whose extraordinary behavior included being resurrected at her own funeral; revelations received by Bridget of Sweden, the first woman to found a religious order; and excerpts from The Book of Margery Kempe, in which Margery imagines herself as a servant caring for the Virgin Mary in her childhood.

This volume, edited by Elizabeth Spearing, who also prepared some of the translations, features a rich introduction to the lives and religious experiences of its subjects, as well as full explanatory notes.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Author

ALEXANDER MACLEOD was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His first collection of stories, Light Lifting, was a national bestseller, won an Atlantic Book Award, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, and the Commonwealth Book Prize. His most recent book of fiction, Animal Person, won the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, was named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, CBC Books, and the Globe and Mail, and includes stories that were featured in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2019, he won an O. Henry Award for his story “Lagomorph.” MacLeod holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill University. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

SOUVANKHAM THAMMAVONGSA's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best American Non-Required Reading, The Journey Prize Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut book of fiction, How to Pronounce Knife, won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2021 Trillium Book Award, and was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN America Open Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Award, and one of Time's Must-Read Books of 2020. Thammavongsa is also the author of four poetry books: Light, winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found; Small Arguments, winner of the ReLit Award; and, most recently, Cluster. Born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, she was raised and educated in Toronto, where she is at work on her first novel. View titles by Various

Table of Contents

Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Elizabeth Spearing

Introduction by Elizabeth Spearing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Acknowledgments and a Note on the Texts

Abbreviations

Hildegard of Bingen

Extracts from the Vita (translated by Peter Dronke)

Extracts from a Letter to Guibert de Gembloux (translated by Peter Dronke)

Extracts from Scivias (translated by Mother Columba Hart and Jane Bishop)

Christina of Markyate

Extracts from The Life of Christina of Markyate (translated by C.H. Talbot)

Hadewijch

Extracts from the Letters (translated by Mother Columba Hart)

Extracts from the Poems in Stanzas (translated by Mother Columba Hart)

Extracts from the Visions (translated by Mother Columba Hart)

Christine the Astonishing

The Life of St. Christine the Astonishing (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Mary of Oignies

Extracts from The Life of St. Mary of Oignies (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Elizabeth of Spaalbeek

The Life of St. Elizabeth of Spaalbeek (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Marguerite Porete

Extracts from The Mirror of Simple Souls (translated by A.C. Spearing)

Bridget of Sweden

Extracts from the Liber Celestis (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Julian of Norwich

Extracts from Revelations of Divine Love (Short Text) (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Extracts from Revelations of Divine Love (Long Text) (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Anonymous

A Revelation of Purgatory (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Margery Kempe

Extracts from the The Book of Margery Kempe (Book I) (translated by B.A. Windeatt)

Notes