The English Prose Treatises of Richard Rolle
Richard Rolle, the hermit of Hampole', wrote an extensive body of religious literature that was widely disseminated in late medieval England; but although many of his works have received substantial editorial attention, they have as yet attracted only limited detailed critical analysis, with scholarship largely focused on establishing facts about his life and striking character. This study aims to correct this imbalance by re-examining his English prose works - Ego Dormio, The Commandment and The Form of Living - in terms of their literary form, content and appeal rather than their relationship to Rolle's biography. The author argues that in these devotional works (which appealed to a broad readership in late medieval England) Rolle successfully refines traditional affective strategies to develop an implied reader-identity, the individual soul seeking the love of God, which empowers each and every reader in his or her own spiritual journey. CLARE ELIZABETH MCILROY teaches at the University of Western Australia.
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Aelred Aelred of Rievaulx affective amicitia Ancrene Wisse appears argues audience Bernard Bernard of Clairvaux biblical bride canor Christ cited Clark Bartlett Cloud of Unknowing Commandment construction contemplative degrees of love didactic discourse discussion dulcor Ego Dormio Emendatio Vitae English Mystics English prose English writings exhortation Female Readers female religious feminised fifteenth-century Form of Living fourteenth century gender Gillespie H. E. Allen Hampole haue heart Holy Name imaginatio implied reader Incendium Amoris instruction Invention of Authority Jesus Latin loue lyric manuscripts Margaret Kirkeby Margery Kempe Medieval English meditation Middle Ages Middle English monastic mystical schema Officium Ogilvie-Thomson passage Passion reading recipient relationship Renevey Richard of St Richard Rolle role Rolle's authorial Rolle's English Rolle's vernacular Song of Songs suggests Super Canticum Canticorum theme three degrees tion tradition vernacular treatises Virgin W. A. Pantin Watson women words Writings Ascribed