visited the monastery of San Marco in Florence, really to see the Fra Angelico frescoes in each cell and to contemplate upon them. I don't much like paintings of later periods but was inexplicably drawn into a gallery. Before me suddenly I saw a vast canvas of precisely the kind I most dislike. It was of St Birgitta handing her Rule and Revelationes to the Sisters and Brethren of her Order, to her right a scarlet-clad Cardinal, the Emperor Charles of Bohemia with sceptre and orb, to her left Bishop Hermit Alfonso of Jaén, his Bishop's mitre laid down on the steps below the crown Birgitta's brother Israel had renounced and the deer her daughter Catherine had rescued, and a Brigittine monk, her son, Birger. It had once been at the Paradiso, the Brigittine monastery founded in Florence.

But there wasn't a Cardinal in her household, I scoffed. I dismissed the painting's style, though not its subject, which remained in the recesses of my memory, and turned to the Refectory, where in Ghirlandaio's 'Last Supper' one sees cherries strewn about the damask woven tablecloth , such as one can still find hand-loomed by countrywomen, and with peacocks peering down from open vaulting.

Birgitta giving Revelationes , 1492, with Emperor, Pope, Cardinal to her right, Kings to her left, the laity at her feet

I. Remedy, Cloud, Chastising, Scale, Showing

An important cluster of texts appears to be related to Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love as if in a "Textual Community" with each other.(1) The texts are the Augustinian Hermit William Flete's Remedies Against Temptations(2), The Cloud of Unknowing and its unknown author's subsequent Epistles(3), the likewise anonymous The Chastising of God's Children(4), and the Augustinian Canon Walter Hilton' s The Scale of Perfection.(5) These are texts written for contemplatives. In time, with Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love, they will be collected and copied out again within enclosed women's abbeys, first at Brigittine Syon in England and then in exile, and next in the English Benedictine houses at Cambrai and Paris, under the spiritual direction of Fathers Augustine Baker and Serenus Cressy , O.S.B., and still in exile. It is even possible that they always had been embedded in such gendered contexts.

An early manuscript of William Flete's Remedies Against Temptations, Bodleian Library's Holkham misc. 41, titled Consolacio anime, makes use of the same verse as that which occurs in the Amherst Manuscript containing Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love, "Syke and sorwe deeply ", addresses its Prologue to a "religious Sister ", and particularly prays for all solitaries, " Ancres, Reclusis and heremites and alle estatis reclusid ", and its scribe is likewise a woman.(6) The Cloud of Unknowing begins, "Goostly freende in God ", going on to speak of the four forms of life, Common, Special, Singular (solitary, anchoritic) and Perfect, its recipient being Singular (EETS 218.13). The Chastising of God's Children appears to be conference addresses given vocally in a women's monastic establishment and also addressed scribally to one anchoress.(7) Walter Hilton's Scale of Perfection, Part One, is clearly addressed to an anchoress, ''Ghostly sister in Jhesu Christ, I pray thee that in the calling which our Lord hath called thee to His service, thou hold thee paid and stand steadfastly therein .''(8) Henry Pepwell in 1521 gathered many of these texts together, Edmund G. Gardiner republishing that collection of seven tracts of Catherine of Siena, Margery Kempe, and the Cloud Author, as The Cell of Self-Knowledge , in 1910, and noting that the Cloud Author's texts are written for an anchoress.(9)

This essay will discuss all these works in relation to each other and to the anchoress Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love, as works which are possibly shared in a textual community and which, from their being written in Middle English rather than in Latin, are likely directed towards women living a life of prayer as their audience - and in some cases the texts are even written by such contemplative women.

II. Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love

There are three manuscript versions of Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love and a report of a conversation held with her. The earliest extant manuscript text, the Short Text of the Showing of Love, is included in the British Library's Amherst Manuscript (A) which has connections to Carthusian Sheen and Brigittine Syon and where the scribe writing circa 1450 notes that the original of its text was written in 1413 while Julian was yet alive. The second earliest extant manuscript text, which also has connections to Syon Abbey, is in the Westminster Cathedral Manuscript (W), at present on loan to Westminster Abbey, and interestingly it bears the date 1368, while containing nothing of the famous 13 May 1373 deathbed vision, though it was actually written out circa 1500. The third earliest version is the Long Text of the Showing of Love, written out in Antwerp in the 1580s, then taken to Rouen by its Brigittine owners, being acquired later by the King of France, and which is now the Paris Manuscript, Bibliothčque Nationale, Anglais 40 (P). Its text survives also among manuscripts written by Benedictine English nuns in exile, complete, in the British Library Stowe 42 Manuscript prepared for Serenus Cressy's 1670 printed edition, in two, somewhat stream-lined in editing, British Library Sloane Manuscripts (S1, which preserves Julian's Norwich dialect, S2, which preserves Julian's manuscript layout, and, in fragmentary form, in the Upholland (U) and Gascoigne (G) Manuscripts. The Long Text was originally, according to its internal dating, written out in 1393. Its present versions, Paris, Stowe and Sloane, may contain interpolations; for instance that on St John of Beverley perhaps was entered into the text by a Brigittine where that saint was particularly revered, though we also know that Cardinal Adam Easton had associations with both the Basilica of St Cecilia in Trastevere and the Collegiate Church of St John of Beverley, both these saints being then mentioned in Julian's texts. Almost earlier than all these manuscripts is Margery Kempe 's reporting of "Dame Jelyan" of Norwich's conversations with her in The Book of Margery Kempe, providing us with an Oral Text (M), an event which occurred shortly before 1413, and which is extant in a manuscript which was written out circa 1450.(10)

In this essay references to Julian's Showing of Love will be to the manuscripts as A, W, P, and M, followed by their foliation. Their edition is imminent in that format. While references to Early English Text Society volumes shall be to their volume number, page number, line number, e.g. EETS 218.13:1.

III. Margery Kempe's Book

Margery Kempe strongly modeled her pilgrimages and her book upon Birgitta of Sweden's Revelationes .

Yet almost no one has noticed that her first scribe is more probably her daughter-in-law from Gdansk, where Birgitta was revered and her Revelationes studied, than it was Margery's son from Lynn, who was at that time dying, though we are clearly told by her second, male, and priestly scribe concerning Margery's first edition that 'Že booke was so euel wretyn žat he cowd lytyl skyll žeron, for it was neižyr good Englysch ne Dewch, ne že lettyr was not schapyn ne formyd as ožer letters ben' (EETS 212.4:15-17). Those disparaging words would indicate that the original was more likely written by a German woman more than by an English man.

IV. William Flete's Remedies Against Temptations

William Flete, who was to leave the University of Cambridge in 1359 to become an Augustinian Hermit near Siena, where he became a disciple and executor to St Catherine of Siena , knowing Cardinal Adam Easton, O.S.B., from Norwich Cathedral Priory, had already written the Remedies Against Temptations in Latin. That work was translated into Middle English so that it could be available to women contemplatives. Perhaps it was translated by another Augustinian, Walter Hilton, who similarly wrote the first part of The Scale of Perfection to an anchoress, for British Library Harley 2409 clearly states, "Here bigynnes a deuoute matier to že drawyng of M. Waltere Hyltoun".(11) Or, its translator might be the candidate given at the end of this essay, a candidate who had personally known William Flete in Italy and who was himself from Norwich. For Julian quotes often from the Remedies Against Temptations in her Showing of Love.

The Middle English text of the Remedies Against Temptations is careful to be gender inclusive in its language (the references to women here shall be given in bold):

The text even goes so far as to say: And it adds: Flete gives the story of St. Peter: The text adds: he will tempt them the more.(16)

The text then tells its woman reader:

Much else in this text is repeated in Julian's Showing of Love, indicating not only its intended audience but also its conscious use by that gendered audience. Flete notes that every sin lies in our will, that which is against our will not being sin, and that the devil tempts us no more than God permits, that faith and hope are the ground of perfection and root of all virtues, and that though a soul no longer sees God in its despair, it still dwells in the fear and love of God and all that trouble is thus paradoxically great reward in the sight of God.(18) Flete, like Julian, lists those great sinners, such as David, Peter and Mary Magdalen, whom God forgave.(19) Similarly, he warns that none should therefore decide to sin wilfully, counting on that forgiveness.(20) If the soul falls into doubt, it is crucial to remember that with God nothing is impossible, " And žerfore ženk weel žat his myght may do alle žinge, and his wisdom kan, and his goodnesse wole ".(21) He continues, " somtyme God with draweth deuocion for preyer to make the preyer more medeful. God wold be serued somtyme in bitternesse and somtyme in swetnesse ".(22) And "For a man is not so redy to asken for3eueness and mercy, žat 3et oure mercyful lord of his grete goodnesse is more redy to 3eue it hym".(23) Further, concerning the devil, "žou3 he tempte 3ou with ony temtacions, ž(r)ou3 the myght of god and merites of his passyon it schal be no perel to 3ou of soule, but to hym it schal turn to schame & confusion". William Flete likewise uses the image of God as a mother who will chastise her children to prevent them from coming to harm, this being especially the case with those who are " goddis seruauntes ".(24)

V. The Unknown Cloud Author's Cloud of Unknowing

An anonymous writer, likely an ecclesiast who was forced to live in the midst of worldliness and who possessed the texts of Pseudo-Dionysius and Origen, translated and adapted these texts into Middle English as The Cloud of Unknowing, and Dionise Hid Divinite, and used them also in The Epistle of Prayer, The Epistle of Discretion in the Stirrings of the Souls, The Epistle of Privy Counsel, and The Treatise of Discerning of Spirits.(25) In doing so the author made use of an ancient tradition, seen also in Ovid and Paul, Origen and Pseudo-Dionysius, Jerome and Boniface , Abelard and Heloise, of the writing of treatises and epistles, which was frequently employed by men writing to and for women. A similar epistle is even to be found in a Norwich Castle manuscript 158.926/4g.5. Ascribed to Jerome (" Apistle of sent Jerom sent to a mayde demetriade. žat hadde uowed chastite to our lorde ihu criste"), it is actually Pelagius' Epistle to Demetrias, translated into Middle English for the benefit, perhaps, of a Norwich anchoress, the text then being written out by such an anchoress and in Julian's dialect, the manuscript including other texts, one by Richard Lavenham, the Carmelite confessor to Richard II who lectured on Birgitta of Sweden's Revelations at Oxford, another a Lollard text.(26) Thomas More, scoffing at such epistolary texts, said " They begynne theyre pystles in suche apostolycall fashyon that a man wold wene žt were wryten from saynt Paule hymself ".(27)

Though the Cloud author made use of difficult texts, culled from Paul, Origen, Pseudo-Dionysius , John of Salisbury and Richard of St Victor, they were written for someone who had no Latin. These works are usually considered to have been written to a young man, conjectured to have been perhaps a Carthusian lay-brother. But why would such a male youth with such an intellect not have been privileged with Latin? Their author was himself thought to have been a Carthusian, though Evelyn Underhill in her rendition of the text took issue with that belief, noting that the author's references to the behaviour of those in the corridors of power amongst whom he had to live and work made such a belief untenable, while Dom Justin McCann in his original edition believed he could have been an East Anglian pastor.(28)

The Cloud of Unknowing's author first invokes and vernacularizes the prayer of the Mass (" God, unto whom alle hertes ben open, & unto whom alle wille spekiž, & unto whom no priue žing is hid: I beseche žee so for to clense že entent of myn hert wiž že unspekable 3ift of ži grace, žat I may par fiteliche loue žee & woržilich preise žee. Amen " [EETS 218:1]), which echoes the Ancrene Riwle's recommendation of this Mass prayer for its three anchorites.(29) However, though anchorites were to gaze upon the altar, they rarely received the sacrament, the Ancrene Riwle's author telling his readership, " People think less of a thing which they have often, and for this reason you shall only receive Communion fifteen times a year, as our lay-brothers do ."(30) The author then opens The Cloud of Unknowing in a way which echoes Aelred of Rievaulx's De Institutione Inclusarum, written for his recluse sister, "Suster, that hast ofte axed of me a forme of lyuyng accordyng to thyn estat, inasmuch as thou are enclosed "(31), of Thomas of Froidmont 's Liber de modo bene vivendi ad sororem, written to his Yorkshire sister, Margaret of Jerusalem , which opens "Soror mea . . . audi domini nostri jhesu cristi verba. Attendite ne corda vestra "(32); of the Ancrene Wisse, "MIne leoue sustren"(33); of the title of Richard Rolle' s The Form of Living, written for the recluse Margaret Kirkeby; and of the opening of Walter Hilton's Scale of Perfection, Part One, " Ghostly sister in Jhesu Christ, I pray thee that in the calling which our Lord hath called thee".(34)

The Cloud author writes,

When medieval texts written in English sought gender inclusion, because they were being written to an audience that was female, they referred to men and women in that order. In the texts written by the author of The Cloud of Unknowing similar care is taken to speak of "man and womman " as was the case with the Middle English version of William Flete's Remedies against Temptations. The Cloud of Unknowing is addressed to a "Goostly freend in God" (EETS 218:13.1,8), who is to be meek and loving " to žis goostly spouse, žat is že Almi3ty God " (15:4), who is compared to "what man or womman žat wenith to come to contemplacion " (27:16) and "it behouež a man or a womman" (27:20), and who is advised not to be proud and curiously learned as "in ožer men or wommen, what-so žei be, religious or seculers" (30:15-16), this phraseology continuing through pages 35:18, 36:6,22, 37:19, 41:18, 50:13, while the examples held up to the reader are of Mary Magdalen and Martha who are clearly spoken of as "scho " and "hir sistre ", that account crescendoing with pages 48:17-49:11's One can well envision in those comments the likely predicament of the Cloud author's twenty-four year old disciple. The Cloud author then consoles his reader with Christ's words: "' Marye haž chosen,' he seyde, 'že best partye, že whiche schal neuer be take from hir '" (54:9-10).(36) He continues that account by speaking of the angel at the Tomb, honouring Mary above the male disciples, a topos which had also been employed by Jerome and by Abelard when writing to console and convince women such as Eustochium and Heloise of their superiority in Christianity, "' Weep not, Marye; for whi oure Lorde wham žou sekist is resyn, & žou schalt haue him, & se him lyue ful feyre amonges his disciples in Galile, as he hi3t'" (55:16-18), and which would be similarly used by Cardinal Adam Easton in his Defensorium Sanctae Birgittae.(37)

The Cloud's author adds,

Thus does the writer champion his reader. (His reader, from these examples, must surely be a young woman, rather than a lay brother.) The author continues by speaking of the love one should have for one's "euen Cristen ", whether "his frende or his fo, his sib or his fremmid", describing the " homly affeccion" Christ had for John, Mary and Peter, adding that (60), He adds (61:1-4), On page 74:14 the Cloud author speaks of vocal prayer which is suddenly exclaimed, such as when a " man or a womman, afraid wiž any sodeyn chaunce of fiir, or of mans deež, or what elles žat it be, sodenly in že hei3t of his speryt" he utters a one syllable word, such as "žis worde FIIR or žus word OUTE." He goes on to say that such a " schort preier peersiž heuen". He repeats that example (78:5), "Ensaumple of žis haue we in a man or a womman affraied in že maner before-saide ". Later he speaks of the problems of a "3ong disciple" who may be deceived, going on to say that "A 3ong man or a womman, newe set to že scole of deuocion," (85.15-16) can overdo spiritual exercises out of pride. He continues, " For what schuld it profite to žee to wite hou žees greet clerkis, & men & wommen of ožer degrees žen žou arte, ben disceyvid?" (86:25-87.1).

Then, for the rest of the text, this sensitivity to the gender of his reader is no longer needed. He takes his leave "Farewel, goostly freende, in Goddes blessing & myne! & I beseche Almi3ti God žat trewe pees, hole conseil, & goostly coumforte in God wiž habundaunce of grace, euirmore be wiž žee & alle Goddes louers in eerže. Amen " (133:4-7). The tone in which he writes is that used to an equal, often with the kind of laughter that a man might use towards his biological sister.

VI. The Unknown Cloud Author's Cloud Cluster of Texts

In the next work, že Book of Priue Counseling, we again have indications of a feminine recluse being its reader, for the writer speaks of the kinds of prayer to be engaged in, "be it orison, be it psalm, ympne or antime, or any ožer preyer, general or specyal, mental wiž-inne endited bi žou3t or vocale wiž-outen by pronounsyng of worde " (135:17-19). Such prayer is described in the Ancrene Wisse and in Marguerite Porete's Mirror of Simple Souls and is typically expected of an anchoress. He even writes for his reader a prayer such as we find Julian herself to say, in his suggested and reiterated, "žat at I am, Lorde, I offre vnto žee, wižoutyn any lokyng to eny qualite of ži beyng, bot only žat žou arte as žou arte, wiž-outen any more " (136:4-6), a prayer modeled on that said by Mary at the Annunciation to Gabriel, Luke 1.38, while Julian's corresponding prayer is modeled rather on that of David to God at his dying (1 Chronicles 29.10-20). It is of interest that Origen, On Prayer, discusses these prayers by David,(38) and that all these prayers are similar to John Whiterig's prayer on Farne Island.(39) The Cloud author then repeats the simple prayer several times in his text, concluding with " žat at I am, Lorde, I offre vnto žee, for žou it arte " (137:1-2). Similarly would Walter Hilton present his Jerusalem Pilgrim's prayer again and again in The Scale of Perfection, Part Two, written after he had read The Cloud of Unknowing and other works by the Cloud author.

The Cloud author next speaks amusingly of the criticism he has received for writing to his reader about material they think is unsuitably difficult.

He continues speaking of the paradox of men and women's seeing what is as simple as a child's ABC as curiously complex as the learning of the greatest scholar. What he avers is that " mans soule or wommans in žis liif is verely in louely meeknes onyd to God in parfite charite" through such a simple prayer (137:4-25). Julian, in the Long Text, similarly plays with the concept of the alphabet (Paris Manuscript, folio 165v), " Of whych gretnes he wylle we haue knowyng here as it were an .A.B.C ."

His initial biblical example, again in this work, as in The Cloud, centres upon a woman: " bere up ži seek self as žou arte & fonde for to touche bi desire good gracious God as he is, že touching of whome is eendeles helpe by witnes ofžewomman in že gospel: Si tetigero vel fimbriam vestimenti eius salua ero. 'If I touche bot že hemme of his cložing I schal be saaf'" (139:3-5).(40)

We see that he has to carefully translate the Latin for his unlearned but brilliant reader - which was not necessary for the Ancrene Wisse author to do.(41) Thirteenth-century religious women still knew some Latin, fourteenth-century women did not, with certain exceptions perhaps such as the Cistercian nuns of Hampole and perhaps the Brigittine nuns of Syon.(42) The text then continues its gender-sensitive phraseology:

until, as in The Cloud of Unknowing , it no longer needs to continue with that focus. Once we, as readers, note our inclusion in his text, we cannot again then read ourselves out of it, we cannot unbold ourselves back into its wallpaper.

VII. Pseudo-Dionysius

We recall that Julian in the Long Text of the Showing of Love was to speak of " Seynte dionisi of france" (P37-37v) and of his altar to "the vnknowyn god ". Benedictine  Adam Easton of Norwich , Oxford and the Papal Curia in Avignon and Rome, titular Cardinal of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, owned the complete works of Pseudo-Dionysius in a fine manuscript from the thirteenth century which included Greek amidst its Latin.(43) He had been at Oxford at the same time as his fellow Benedictine, John Whiterig. The Cloud of Unknowing's seventieth chapter cites Dionysius interestingly, as had already John Whiterig of Farne in his Latin Meditations .(44) The Book of Privy Counselling speaks of the Cloud author's other writings as based on Dionysius, "žis is že cloude of vnknowyng . . . žis is Denis deuinite . . . žis it žat settiž žee in silence as wele fro žou3tes as fro wordes. žis makiž ži preier ful schorte. In žis žou arte lernid to forsake že woreld & to dispise it " (EETS 218.154:15-20).

The text of Deonise Hid Divinite by the same author for the same audience of one then translates Pseudo-Dionysius' Mystica Theologica and deepens that material by referring not to the Trinity of the Greek and the Latin text and translation but to Wisdom as Goddess. I cannot give the Greek in HTML, but in Latin that invocation becomes, "Trinitas superdea et superbona, inspectrix divinae sapientiae Christianorum." Adam Easton 's manuscript of that text now at Cambridge University, opens with the most beautiful assymetrical T, with intertwines in gold leaf, for ' Trinitas': { T. (I like to think that Julian had seen that folio.) The Middle English of the Cloud Author further feminises the text by dropping "Trinity", which in English is without gender, as that which is invoked, and having feminine " Wisdom " take its place, echoing the Great O Advent Antiphon for December 17, " {O Sapientia!"

So speaks a gifted and learned preacher to one whose intellect he admires yet whom he knows to be "unlearned in letters", in the formal education men could receive, but not women. Throughout he addresses his audience of one not only as his intellectual equal but even his superior. For instance in the thirty-third chapter, "I tro žat žou schalt cun betir lerne me žen I žee" ["I believe that you know better how to teach me than I you" (67:16-17)]. The magnilioquent phrases of this invocation echo those in Julian's text.

All of The Cloud of Unknowing 's editors and commentators have assumed that these texts were written to a young man.(47) Yet the same had occurred not with the audience, but with the writer, in the case of Marguerite Porete's Mirror of Simple Souls. Even the joking and admiring tone in response to her book manifested by learned Parisian scholars is the same as that of the Cloud's Author to his youthful reader.(48) The cluster of texts by the author of The Cloud of Unknowing are carefully written in the vernacular and exhibit a similar carefulness with gender inclusive terms, surely because they are written to a young woman contemplative.

There are phrases in these Dionysian texts that echo Marguerite Porete's Mirror of Simple Souls, " and prey not wiž ži mouž . . . be it orison, be it psalm, ympne or antime, or any ožer preyer, general or specyal, mental wiž-inne endited by žou3t or vocale wiž-outen by pronounsyng of worde. & loke žat nožing leue in ži worching mynde bot a nakid entent streching into God, not cložid in any specyal žou3t of God in hym-self, how he is in him-self or in any of his werkes, bot only žat he is as he is"(49), and others that are echoed in turn by Julian of Norwich, "žat byleue ži grounde" (W89v), " I am wel apaied" (W83v) and even the Showing of Love' prayer , "žat at I am, Lorde, I offre vnto žee, wižoutyn any lokyng to eny qualite of ži beyng, bot only žat žou arte as žou arte, wiž-outen any more " (W75v).(50)

Clearly, The Cloud of Unknowing 's cluster of texts is at the centre of a woman's, rather than a men's, textual community. Indeed, it appears that the Cloud author knew Marguerite Porete's The Mirror of Simple Souls and influenced Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love. It may even be that he loaned her The Mirror of Simple Souls in its Middle English version for it occurs with her Showing of Love in the earliest manuscript, the Amherst , that we possess of that text.

One early manuscript of the Cloud Author's works, Oxford, University College 14, is in East Anglian dialect, and several others are from a Scandinavian area, though other early manuscripts are in Hilton's East Midland dialect.(51) Two of the seventeen manuscripts also include the teachings of St Catherine of Siena (52), while another, translated into Latin by the Carthusian, Richard Methley, of Mount Grace Charterhouse, Yorkshire, again includes Marguerite Porete 's Speculum Animarum Simplicium or Mirror of Simple Souls (in this manuscript attributed to "Russhbroke" or Ruusbroec ).(53) Three Cloud of Unknowing manuscripts are annotated by the Sheen Carthusian James Grenehalgh, who also annotated the Amherst Manuscript which includes the Short Text Showing of Love manuscript, and James Grenehalgh usually did this in association with the Brigittine nun, Joanna Sewell.(54) Some of these manuscripts came to Mount Grace Priory, along with The Book of Margery Kempe , some others came into the hands of Fathers Augustine Baker and Serenus Cressy for the use of the spiritual direction of exiled English Benedictine nuns in Cambrai and Paris, along with Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love and with Walter Hilton's Scale of Perfection.(55)

VIII. The Chastising of God's Children

Anselm's "Prayer to St Paul" had made use of Jesus' image from Luke, combined with Paul's from Galatians 4.19, upon which Origen commented, to be used in turn by Walter Hilton at the conclusion of The Scale of Perfection, Part One.(56) Jesus as Mother is ubiquitous in medieval texts. Ritamary Bradley noted that the Ancrene Riwle's image of Jesus expanded upon Anselm with his putting " himself between us and his Father who was threatening to strike us, as a mother full of pity puts herself between the stern angry father " and the child.(57)

John Whiterig, the Benedictine hermit on Farne, wrote in his Meditations,

The Augustinian Hermit William Flete had used the image in Remedies Against Temptations, deriving it from the Stimulus Amoris, written by James of Milan and to be translated by Walter Hilton, the Augustinian Canon. But The Chastising of God's Children , though it is influenced by William Flete, borrows this passage instead from the Ancrene Wisse.(59) The Chastising tells us, The Chastising of God's Children , which is not William Flete's work, but which (like Julian of Norwich in her Showing of Love), knows it and makes use of it, was written for oral delivery to a group of women and scribally to one woman. It is addressed to "sister " and to "friend " and, like William Flete and the Cloud Author, carefully speaks of "men and women ". In one of its manuscripts, in the Bodleian Library, Bodley 505, it is bound with Marguerite Porete's Mirror of Simple Souls ; another manuscript of it came to St John's, Cambridge, where it is 128 (E25), and where it is accompanied by 71 (C21), which also contains Marguerite Porete's Mirror of Simple Souls (the St John's College manuscripts likely coming originally from Syon Abbey's Sisters' Library as well as from the Carthusian houses with which they shared texts); and a third manuscript contains this work, Hilton's Eight Chapters of Perfection, Birgitta of Sweden's Revelationes and William Flete's De Remediis (British Library, Harley 6615), while a fourth manuscript contains the Cloud Author's Epistle of Prayer, Hilton's Scale of Perfection, and the anonymous Chastising of God's Children (Liverpool University Library, Rylands F.4.10).

The text of The Chastising makes use of Gethsemani, its refrain being constantly " Vigilate et orate", a theme present also in the Speculum Inclusorum. It employs the metaphor of God who plays with his children as does a mother with her child, borrowing the image, which is also present in William Flete's De remediis and John Whiterig's Meditations, from the Ancrene Wisse. It speaks of the problems of translating Latin into English, specifically concerning the word " prescience", a word noted as well in an Adam Easton manuscript.(61) From its use of Ruusbroec 's Spiritual Espousals and the Epistola Solitarii of Alfonso of Pecha, which is written as Preface to Birgitta of Sweden's Revelationes, Book XIII , on the Discernment of Spirits, it can be dated as not earlier than 1373 nor later than 1401, for the Cleansyng of Man's Soul, which was written before 1401 and owned by Sibille de Helton, Abbess of Barking, quotes from The Chastising of God's Children.

Julian uses this material on the discerning of spirits in the 1393 Long Text and the 1413 Short Text and had spoken of it with Margery Kempe shortly before 1413 in the Oral Text. However she had already used the " Jesus as Mother " trope as early as her Westminster Text, which may be dated 1368. Thus it is possible that Julian may have influenced The Chastising; as well as that text's "Discernment of Spirits" material from Alfonso of Jaén's Epistola solitarii and Adam Easton' s Defensorium Sanctae Birgittae having influenced Julian's Oral Text and Short Text. It is possible we are dealing with a 'textual community' in Brain Stock's sense, involving both men and women. Interestingly, The Chastising changes the original text of Ruusbroec of "neižer to pope " to add the following. "ne to cardinal ".(62) It shares with the Cloud Author the phrase "devil's contemplatives", used of heretics.(63) If one were a Dorothy Sayers one might detect a connection between this text, The Chastising of God's Children and the cluster of texts about The Cloud of Unknowing.

IX. The Unknown Cloud Author

There is a possibility that all these texts, excepting John Whiterig's Meditations and William Flete's Remedies Against Temptations, are written by first Master, then Cardinal, Adam Easton of Norwich (1330-1397/8) in connection with the Anchoress Julian of Norwich. Some of these texts, such as The Cloud of Unknowing, could have been written when he was preaching in Norwich or at Oxford, where he was teaching Hebrew, others such as the various Epistles, could well have been written from the Papal Curia upon its peregrinations from Avignon to Rome and elsewhere, to be sent to an anchorhold in England, while The Chastising of God's Children appears to be as if conferences addressed to nuns in a Benedictine convent, and, it has been suggested, possibly Carrow Priory.

For Benedictine Adam Easton owned the complete works of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite , a work by Origen and a work by Rabbi David Kimhi, among others. Among his own lost writings was a treatise Perfectio Vitae Spiritualis and material in the vernacular idiom.(64) He overlapped with John Whiterig at Oxford before the latter went to Farne; he knew Catherine of Siena and Birgitta of Sweden , William Flete and Alfonso of Jaén during his presence in the Papal Curia in Avignon and Rome; he presided over the canonization of St Birgitta of Sweden , reading all of her massive Revelationes, twice over; and it is likely he who brought to England the manuscript of Catherine of Siena's Dialogo written out by Cristofano Di Gano, which became the basis later for the Brigittine Orcherd of Syon(65); it is also most likely he who brought into England a manuscript of Alfonso of Jaén's Epistola solitarii ad reges, upon which Easton modelled his own Defensorium Sancte Birgitte , and which was translated and copied out in Norfolk.(66) Meanwhile Cristofano Di Gano, Catherine's disciple, alongside of William Flete, after Catherine of Siena's death, had Birgitta of Sweden 's Revelationes translated into Sienese in an exquisite illuminated manuscript, still in Siena, for the cenacolo founded by Catherine of Siena, to which he and William Flete both belonged.(67) With that manuscript is an abbreviated Latin version of the Revelationes written out by Alfonso of Jaén, accompanied by an account of Birgitta's miracles and intended for use towards her canonization.(68) While in Florence's Riccardian Library is a translation into Florentine Italian of Marguerite Porete 's Mirror of Simple Souls, prefaced by the same texts from Origen which Adam Easton used.

The Cloud of Unknowing, at its beginning, had told its then young reader that there are four degrees and forms of Christian life, Common, Special, Singular (Solitary) and Perfect, and that he believes that his reader is called by God to live all of these, being now at the third degree and living as a Solitary.(69) Though drawn himself to the contemplative life, he is in the world, and he is concerned about the right use of time, "A token is that time is precious: for God, that is giver of time, giveth never two times together, but each one after other".(70) Similarly, Julian knows the technical term for the measurement of time, " touch" or "toc " (P50v; A106v.4). That is surely the way a scholar and future Cardinal would organise his life.(71) Is it not possible that this cluster of treatises could have come from the hand of Adam Easton?

When Adam Easton wrote in Latin, from his early academic exercise, " Utrum Adam ad lege statius innocencie visionem immediatem Dei essencie haberat ", through his later works, he elaborately played upon his name, even with acrostics, and stressed its Hebrew meanings. Adam of St Victor similarly had done so, and Adam Easton fell heir to the Victorine traditions. In Middle English, if Easton were the Cloud author, he was much more careful about anonymity. Nevertheless, those texts play upon that name in The Cloud of Unknowing and The Epistle of Privy Counsel, where the author speaks to his reader, saying she was called from being lost in Adam to being saved in God's precious blood, while Julian's Parable of the Lord and the Servant likewise plays upon the juxtaposition of Adam and Christ and the vision of God.(72) Julian repeats that passage about being lost through Adam and saved through Christ (P53, A106v.28-34), and she even writes of Adam in red letter (P 53.16-18), Adam in Hebrew meaning red, tawny, ruddy, as Easton knew:

The Cloud of Unknowing text notes that the reader is "now of foure & twenty 3ere age".(73) If this were a text given to Julian of Norwich when she was twenty-four, she received it in 1367, the year before she perhaps wrote the 1368 Westminster Text, at which date, according to The Cloud of Unknowing, if she is the recipient, she is already living the anchoritic Singular life having passed to it from the Common and the Special, first as a layperson, then, as the text gives it, as a servant of God's servants (14.5, perhaps as a layservant to nuns, or less likely as a Carrow choir sister). Julian in the Long and Short Texts speaks of her service to God in her youth.(74) The Cloud of Unknowing is precisely the kind of text that could prompt the writing of the Westminster Text of the Showing of Love, stimulating a cataphatic antithesis to its apophatic thesis, resisting its Pseudo-Dionysian hierarchising with her celebration of one's even-Christian. The later Epistle of Privy Counsel speaks of the illness of its recipient and is concerned about her health. If the Epistles are from Adam Easton they may have been written to her from abroad, from France and Italy, Avignon and Rome. That the Westminster Text speaks of pain and that the Long and Short Texts describe a near-fatal bout of illness correspond again and again with the Cloud author's texts written to his "Goostly freende in God ", so prone to illness. An Adam Easton manuscript even annotates material on deformity and crippling in a woman. But it is also clear that Julian came to grow more robust with time, living to a ripe old age. Julian is most close to The Cloud of Unknowing's Dionysianism in her 1368 Westminster Text , growing away from its apophatic Quietism in her 1393 Long Text, and being deeply anxious about it in her 1413 Short Text.

Maika J. Will has shown that the cluster of Cloud treatises even go beyond Pseudo-Dionysius in their Quietism, if not Elitism.(75) They could well represent a phase in Adam Easton's own bildungsroman, where he was teaching himself through teaching another. Unable himself, as he admits, to become a solitary, he is experimenting with another person - who will have the courage of her convictions to rebel against, as well as use, its material, and to object to being treated as a subject - as indeed from the tone of the Cloud Author's remarks, we can tell has already happened. If the Cloud author were Adam Easton and his audience Julian of Norwich, we can come to see them as like John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila , complementing and balancing each other's mysticism, the one negating images, the other coming to espouse them, such as a hazel nut, the rain from roof eaves, the scales of a herring, drying cloth upon lines, as images of Creation and Creator, of Incarnation and Crucifixion, the Word become flesh and dwelling in our midst, in the world created by that Word.

The Chastising of God's Children would have been written much later than the Cloud's cluster of texts, probably shortly after 1382, during the time when Julian was writing not the First Text but the Long Text, while its material on the discerning of spirits from Alfonso of Jaén's Epistola solitarii is echoed in the pre-1413 Oral Text, Julian's reported conversations with Margery, and in the 1413 Short Text. Much of The Chastising's contents reflects the library of texts that are found in the Westminster Cathedral Text and Amherst Short Text Manuscripts, texts such as Hilton's Qui habitat, Ruusbroec 's Spiritual Espousals, Alfonso of Pecha's Epistola solitarii , Suso 's Horologium Sapientiae, and indeed its format makes it appear to have originated as a series of conferences in a woman's convent.(76) Could these have been addresses given by Cardinal Adam Easton to the nuns at Carrow Benedictine Priory in Norwich, written out so that they could also be read by the Solitary, Julian, and which are given in defense of Julian, much as Adam Easton, too, had defended Birgitta? They could then have been shared with Benedictine Barking Abbey where Chaucer's daughter was a nun. Adam as Cardinal of England at the Papal Curia, and Geoffrey Chaucer, the King's diplomat to Italy, would have known each other well. It is even possible that Julian's relationship to her Prioress at Carrow is reflected in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales' Second Nun (whose tale is of St Cecilia ), to her Prioress (whose tale has an anti-Semitic Norwich analogue, that of the murdered child, Saint William).(77) Similar texts occur in another manuscript with possible Carrow associations, such as Suso 's Horologium Sapientiae, Flete's Remedies against Temptations , and Hilton's Psalm commentaries, which may be associated with Adam Easton.(78)

Julian of Norwich in her Long Text speaks most clearly about this same St Dionysius (P37-37v) whose works these authors share in a textual community. What mitigates against such a claim is that only one good early manuscript, at University College, Oxford, and which includes the teaching of Catherine of Siena, whom Adam Easton knew, is in a dialect that can be associated with East Anglia.(79) The Chastising of God's Children comes to us in two families, one with Northern characteristics, the other, South East Midlands, while their parent was possibly from neither region.(80) Such a finding could also be true of the Cloud cluster of manuscripts as well as the Chastising and that their common parent could have been written in East Anglian, softened by Oxford's dialect.

X. Walter Hilton's Scale of Perfection

Walter Hilton's Scale of Perfection is similar to The Cloud of Unknowing, yet significantly different.(81) It is possible that both authors wrote for an anchoress capable of responding to their texts.(82) That part of Hilton and part of Julian are to be found in the Westminster Manuscript is indicative of such a relationship.(83) Indeed, Edmund Colledge and James Walsh asked the question as to who copied whom, of the " All schal be wel" of Scale of Perfection , Part Two, and Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love.(84) Like the Austin Hermit William Flete, Walter Hilton studied at Cambridge, 1357-82, incepting then in canon law, before becoming an Austin Canon at Thurgarton about 1386.(85) He was attracted to the solitary life, writing to his friend Adam Horsely on the subject before Adam entered the Charterhouse of Beauvale.(86) He wrote, besides his masterwork The Scale of Perfection, the Eight Chapters on Perfection, derived from a book " founde in Maister Lowis de Fontibus booke at Cantebrigge ", a work either owned or written by Luis de Fontibus, an Aragonese Franciscan studying at Cambridge in 1383, which discusses the distinction between true and false "liberty" of spirit, the Epistola ad Quemdam Saeculo Renuntiare Volentem, advising his secular friend not to be a cloistered religious, the treatise on The Treatise on the Mixed Life, and the commentary on Psalm 90 Qui Habitat, which occurs in the Westminster Cathedral manuscript along with Psalm 91, Bonus Est, which may not be his work, but which is traditionally taken, for instance by Rabbi David Kimhi, whose work Adam Easton knew and owned, to be the Psalm Adam said at his Creation.(87)

Walter Hilton wrote The Scale of Perfection in two parts, separately from each other, a separation that is reflected in their manuscripts.(88) Part One, in translation, begins, " Ghostly sister in Jesus Christ, I pray thee that in the calling which our Lord hath called thee to His service, thou hold thee paid and stand steadfastly therein ".(89) In Chapter 60 he wrote of priests, clerks and laymen, widows, wives and maidens as all capable of being God's servants in following the vocation of perfection.(90) In Chapter 83, he stated, " although you are an enclosed anchoress and unable to leave your cell to seek opportunities of helping your fellow-men by acts of mercy, you are still bound to love them all in your heart, and to show clear signs of this love to all who come to you ".(91) He ends with the image from Paul's Epistle to the Galatians 4.19, where Paul compares himself in relation to his flock to a woman in childbirth, "' Filiolo, quos iterum parturio donec Christus formetur in vobis'. My dear children, which I bear as a woman beareth a bairn until Christ be again shapen in you".(92)

The author of The Cloud of Unknowing had appeared to refer to The Scale of Perfection, Part One, approvingly,(93) where Hilton recommended that his anchoress read books in the vernacular as she would not be able to understand the Latin Scriptures, but the Cloud author could equally have been speaking of such passages in Aelred of Rievaulx's De Institutione Inclusorum(94) and the Ancrene Wisse(95) and their comments on the desirability of anchoresses reading books, where the Cloud author states,

Besides responding to William Flete's Remedies Against Temptation (which is also incorporated into The Chastising of God's Children), by the time of writing the second part of The Scale of Perfection, Hilton had encountered The Cloud of Unknowing, whose Pseudo-Dionysianism he challenged. In doing so, in The Scale of Perfection, Part Two, he no longer was writing to an anchoress but to a more general and male audience of this textual community. The Cloud author had stressed secrecy and exclusivity; both Hilton and Julian appear to have rebelled against such an emphasis, writing for their " euyn-cristens". The Cloud author had written privately to his "Ghostly Friend ", Julian of Norwich wrote her Showing of Love as God's Servant, with generality and generosity to all God's Lovers. As a canon lawyer Hilton's work at Thurgarton in 1387 was to campaign against Wycliffism, concerning which he wrote Conclusiones de Ymaginibus.(97) He perhaps similarly countered the iconoclasm of Pseudo-Dionysianism, perhaps realising its potential relationship to Lollardy - and even the Reformation. Both Hilton and Julian espoused the contemplation of the Nativity and the Crucifixion. Julian began her 1368 First Westminster Text by echoing the inclusiveness of the Lord's Prayer, " {O Ur gracious & goode/ lorde god", and wrote at the bitter end of the 1413 Short Text, at the time of the Sir John Oldcastle Lollard Revolt, the Lollard term "And to our. Even christen. Amen."

XI. Anchoress and Cardinal

Was Julian at the centre of a controversy, of a textual community, and were these texts written for her and about her?(98) Was she taught contemplation through books written by both Oxford and Cambridge scholars, by John Whiterig and Adam Easton, by William Flete and Walter Hilton? And did she flout their teaching? These texts, William Flete's Remedies Against Temptation in its translation, perhaps the Cloud of Unknowing and its related cluster of texts, and certainly the anonymous The Chastising of God's Children, and Walter Hilton's Scale of Perfection, Part One, were addressed to anchoritic or monastically enclosed women as readers. Similar works were also addressed to men and read both by them and by women. When they were written to men they were in Latin. But women needed to read in their vernacular English, not being schooled with men, not being privileged with Latin, so texts were written and translated for them accordingly. Christ had said, "If thou wilt be perfect, sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come follow me" (Matthew 19.21). Christianity heard that call as directed to men and to women who desired to live the perfect life. In these instances the authoritative, prescriptive texts, inscribed by men (perhaps such as the now lost Perfectio Vitae Spiritualis of Cardinal Adam Easton ), read like Moses sternly delivering the Law from Mount Sinai; though sometimes they can, as in The Cloud of Unknowing, be jocular and brotherly in tone, as if they were Aaron conversing with Miriam. When men write in the vernacular, they patronizingly note that their women readers are "unlettered" in Latin, unschooled, and that they do this as a favor to them. In the counter texts, written by women, Marguerite Porete's Mirror of Simple Souls , Birgitta of Sweden's Revelationes , Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love , and perhaps Margery Kempe's Book , all of which were inscribed in Middle English, we can hear the joyful and spontaneous praise of God, such as was sung by Miriam and the other Hebrew women on the shores of the Red Sea.

XII. Conclusion

It was not until later that day that I realized the identity of the scarlet-clad Cardinal in the Paradiso painting of St Birgitta and her following, now in Florence's San Marco. He recurs in the manuscript illuminations and the later engravings as well as gracing the paintings, the Sacred Conversations, about St Birgitta and her Revelationes . He is to be seen in his Cardinal's hat beside the Pope, beyond them both, the Bishop Hermit Alfonso of Jaén, all at Birgitta's right hand side in the engraving below. He is our own English Benedictine, Adam Easton of Norwich , Oxford, Avignon and Rome, who, from a working-class background, came to be buried in his titular basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere in Rome in a magnificent marble tomb sculpted with his Cardinal's hat and tassels and the royal arms of England. He was a lover of theological books and of women's writings, who had owned the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius , of Origen, of Rabbi David Kimhi, and of the Victorines, and who wrought Birgitta of Sweden 's canonization, who knew Bishop Hermit Alfonso of Jaén, her spiritual director, and likewise Birgitta's most beautiful daughter, St Catherine of Sweden, and who knew as well Catherine of Siena and her spiritual director and executor, the English member of her cenacolo , William Flete. Adam Easton may very likely have himself been Julian of Norwich's spiritual director, translating and writing for her the lost treatises on the spiritual life of perfection in vernacular English, that have until now been so hid in a Cloud of Unknowing that neither their author nor their audience could be found. It is even possible that he was her brother.



1. Brian Stock, Implications of Literacy: Written Language and Models of Interpretation in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (Princeton: University Press, 1983).
2. William Flete, "Remedies Against Temptations: The Third English Version of William Flete", ed. Eric Colledge and Noel Chadwick, Archivio Italiano per la Storia de la Pietą 5 (Rome, 1968).
3. The Cloud of Unknowing and The Book of Privy Counselling ("Here Bygynniž a Book of Contemplacyon že whiche is clepyd že Clowde of Vnknowyng in že whiche a Soule is onyd wiž God "), ed. Phyllis Hodgson (London: Oxford University Press, 1944), Early English Text Society (EETS) 218, p. 13; Deonise Hid Divinite and Other Treatises on Contemplative Prayer Related to the Cloud of Unknowing, A Treatyse of že Stodye of Wysdome žat men clepen Benjamin, A Pistle of Preier, A Pistle of Discrecioun of Stirings; A Tretis of Discrescyon of Spirites , ed. Phyllis Hodgson (London: Oxford University Press, 1955), EETS 231. Henceforth I cite EETS' volume, pagination and line numbering in the text and in the footnotes.
4.The Chastising of God's Children and The Treatise of the Perfection of the Sons of God, ed. Joyce Bazire and Eric Colledge (Oxford: Blackwell, 1957).
5. Walter Hilton, The Scale of Perfection, ed. Evelyn Underhill (London: Watkins, 1923); trans. John P.H. Clark and Rosemary Doreward (New York: Paulist Press, 1991).
6. Colledge and Chadwick, "Remedies Against Temptations, pp. 207-210. The text also speaks of events of the Passion not in the Gospels but "the which was be reuelacion of God schewid to a religious persone".
7. Chastising, ed. Bazire and Colledge, pp. 44-48.
8. Hilton, Scale, ed. Underhill, p. 1; trans. Clark and Doreward, p. 54, notes that the manuscript variants are "Gostely syster/brother/brother or suster ", which is indicative of the gender interchangeability of these texts.
9. The Cell of Self-Knowledge: Seven Early English Mystical Writers printed by Henry Pepwell MDXXI, ed. Edmund G. Gardiner (London: Chatto & Windus 1910), pp. 88, 95, 102 and passim. Sister Anna Maria Reynolds, C.P., transcribed and collated the Julian of Norwich Showing of Love manuscripts, excepting Upholland and Gascoigne, for her University of Leeds Theses, 1947, 1956 (1947: S1, collated with S2; 1956: A,P, collated with SS,W). We are currently co-editing and translating all these manuscripts for publication (A,P,W, collated with S1,S2,U,G). The present editions are A Book of Showings to the Anchoress Julian of Norwich, ed. Edmund Colledge, O.S.A. and James Walsh, S.J. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1978), 2 vols. (A,P, collated with W,SS); A Revelation of Love, ed. Marion Glasscoe from British Library, Sloane 2499 (Exeter: University of Exeter, 1976, 1986, 1993) (S1); Julian of Norwich's Revelations of Divine Love: The Shorter Version Ed. from B.L. MS. 37790, ed. Francis Beer (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1978) (A), while Edward P. Nolan published my earlier transcription of W in Cry Out and Write: A Feminine Poetics of Revelation (New York: Continuum, 1994), pp. 141-203. Nicholas Watson, "The Composition of Julian of Norwich's Revelation of Love" Speculum 68 (1993), 637-683, "Censorship and Cultural Change in Late-Medieval England: Vernacular Theology, the Oxford Translation Debate, and Arundel's Constitutions of 1409", Speculum 70 (1995), 822-864, dates Julian's Short Text as later than previously thought, but not as late as 1413, though his theses would support the Amherst Manuscript's own dating. Sister Anna Maria Reynolds, C.P., and I are currently co-editing with a facing page translation the three manuscript versions, A,W,P, collating these with all the known manuscripts.
10. The Book of Margery Kempe , ed. Sanford Brown Meech and Hope Emily Allen (London: Oxford University Press, 1940), EETS 212, pp. xxxiii-xxxv.
11. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", p. 204. While another ascription, to "St Richard of Hampole", will be considered valid by Father Augustine Baker and the English Benedictine nuns in exile whom he directed, resulting in copies of Julian's Showing of Love in manuscripts together with Flete's text but as ascribed to Rolle, as in the case of Colwich H18, written out in the hand of Bridget More, Thomas More's descendant, p. 215.
12. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", p. 221.
13. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", pp. 223-4.
14. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", p. 228.
15. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", pp. 230-1.
16. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", p. 232.
17. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", p. 238.
18. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", p. 222.
19. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", p. 223.
20. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", p. 226.
21. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", p. 227.
22. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", p. 230.
23. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", p. 233.
24. Colledge and Chadwick, "Flete's Remedies", p. 235.
25. I tend to accept Phyllis Hodgson's suspicion and Roger Ellis' belief that the Cloud author did not also author the Victorine Benjamin Minor, though Pseudo-Dionysius was deeply embedded in the Victorine exegesis. See Roger Ellis, "Author(s), Compilers, Scribes, and Bible Texts: Did the Cloud-Author translate The Twelve Patriarchs?" The Medieval Mystical Tradition in England: Exeter Symposium V, ed. Marion Glasscoe, pp. 193-94.
26. The vocabulary of the manuscript clearly echoes that in the Sloane manuscripts of Julian's Showing of Love , 'arn ' for 'be', and such words as 'behouely,' 'woo', 'travail', 'sekir'. It comprises texts written in Middle English for a woman vowed as an anchoress or other form of perfect living. It makes use of illuminated capitals in gold leaf upon purple, copying the Bibles written out at St Boniface's request by English nuns in an earlier time.
27. Anne Hudson, The Premature Reformation: Wycliffite Texts and Lollard History (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), p. 222.
28. A Book of Contemplation the Which is Called the Cloud of Unknowing, In the Which a Soul is Oned with God , ed. Evelyn Underhill (London: Watkins, 1912), pp. 7-9. For such worldly behavior, see especially Chapter 8, p. 97. In Chapter 73, p. 307, he tells his reader to fulfil for him what is lacking in his own life. Dom David Knowles, The English Mystics (London: Burns, Oates and Washbourne, 1927), p. 91, quotes from Dom Justin McCann's 1924 edition of The Cloud of Unknowing , p. xii.
29. The Ancrene Riwle, trans. Mary B. Salu (London: Burns and Oates, 1955), p. 11. See also The Myroure of oure Ladye, ed. John Henry Blunt (London: Trübner, 1873), EETS, Extra Series, 29, which similarly demonstrates how the Latin of the liturgical Offices could be rendered into Middle English for women's benefit, in this case for the Brigittine nuns of Syon Abbey.
30. Among them Twelfth Night, Candlemas, Lady Day. Easter Sunday, Holy Thursday, Whitsunday, Midsummer, St Mary Magdalen's, Assumption, Nativity, St Michael's, All Saints, St Andrew's, Ancrene Riwle , trans. Salu, p. 182.
31. Aelred of Rievaulx, De Institutione Inclusarum, ed. John Ayto and Alexandra Barrett (London: Oxford University Press, 1984), EETS 287:1.5-6.
32. Aron Andersson and Anne Marie Franzen, Birgittareliker (Stockholm: Alqvist and Wiksells, 1975), pp. 54-55.
33. The English Text of the Ancrene Riwle: Ancrene Wisse, Edited from the Corpus Christi College, Cambridge MS 403, ed. J.R.R. Tolkien (London: Oxford University Press, 1962), EETS 249:63.12-15 and passim.
34. Hilton, Scale, ed. Underhill, p. 1.
35. Cloud, ed. Hodgson, EETS 218:13; ed. Underhill, pp. 7-9. Julian's Showing of Love, W84v, P42v,46,56, A105.12, similarly emphasize the crown of life, derived from Philippians 4.1.
36. Compare with Ancrene Riwle , trans. Salu, pp. 183-184; Julia Bolton Holloway, Saint Bride and her Book: Birgitta of Sweden's Revelations, pp. 41-50, for the strange use of masculine forms in the Mary and Martha story translated into Middle English by a Brigittine brother of Syon.
37. Cardinal Adam Easton, arguing for women's greater capacity to see and hear visions than men's, cited that text when defending Birgitta of Sweden's canonisation: Lincoln 114 (now at Nottingham University), fol. 27v, observing that Mary Magdalen was the first to see the risen Christ and that she announced this as Apostle to the Apostles. He also cites Philip's four virgin prophet daughters and Saints Agnes, Agatha and Cecilia, while his male examples are of the Doubting St Thomas and the betraying St Peter of the 'Quo Vadis' vision at Rome, fols. 28-28v.
38. 2 Samuel 7.18-22, 1 Chronicles 29.10-20, in Origen, On Prayer, XXXIII.3, ed. Eric George Jay (London: S.P.C.K., 1954), p. 218.
39. John Whiterig, The Monk of Farne: The Meditations of a Fourteenth-Century Monk, ed. Hugh Farmer, O.S.B., Studia Anselmiana 41 (1957); trans. A Benedictine of Stanbrook, p. 26.
40. Adam Easton owned Origen's Homilies on Leviticus, Homily IV using this example, "sed fimbriam tetigit vestimenti", Patrologia cursus completus series Graeca, ed. J.P. Migne, 12.443A. The original Greek text is lost, the Latin only surviving.
41. Ann Savage and Nicholas Watson, Anchoritic Spirituality: Ancrene Wisse and Related Works (New York: Paulist Press, 1991), p. 34, note that the Deerfold anchoresses did not need to have the Latin prayers and quotations from the Fathers translated for them which are embedded throughout the text of the Ancrene Wisse.
42. Eileen Power, "Nunneries", Medieval Women (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), ed. M.M. Postan, pp. 96-97; Julia Bolton Holloway, Equally in God's Image: Women in the Middle Ages, ed. Julia Bolton Holloway, Joan Bechtold, and Constance S. Wright (Berne: Peter Lang, 1990), passim, observed that the loss of Latin literacy amongst religious women coincided with the coming of the Universities, which only admitted and trained men until our century.
43. Cambridge University Library Ii.III.32. This manuscript's invocation to the Trinity has an illuminated Gothic T in intertwined gold-leaf, fol. 108v. Its Norwich Cathedral Priory shelfmark is "X ccxxviii", the highest surviving shelf mark for the books from Adam Easton's library returned to Norwich from Rome at his death in six barrels, but which had already been shipped between Norwich and Oxford during his preaching in the one city, his teaching in the other in Julian's formative years.
44. Whiterig, Monk of Farne , ed. Farmer; trans. Benedictine of Stanbrook, p. 129.
45. Cloud, ed. Hodgson, EETS 218:125; trans. as The Cloud of Unknowing and Other Treatises, With a Commentary by Father Augustine Baker, O.S.B., ed. Dom Justin McCann (London: Burns, Oates and Washbourne, 1943), pp. 93-94.
46. That invocation echoes as well the quasi-Gnostic text of Marguerite Porete's Mirror of Simple Souls - which occurs in the same manuscript as does Julian's Short Text, and which may reflect the contents of Julian's library of contemplative books, perhaps given her by Adam Easton. On Wisdom, among other texts, see Joan Nuth, Wisdom's Daughter: The Theology of Julian of Norwich, Asphodel P. Long, In A Chariot Drawn by Lions: The Search for the Female in Deity (London: Women's Press, 1992).
47. Gerard Sitwell, Introduction to The Ancrene Riwle, trans. Salu, p. x, states "The Cloud of Unknowing was not apparantly written for an anchoress, but it is a notable member of this group of writings, and it deals with this experience from the start"; Marion Glasscoe, English Medieval Mystics: Games of Faith (London: Longman, 1993), pp. 167-172, gives the received opinion that the disciple is male.
48. The Mirror of Simple Souls: By an Unknown French Mystic of the Thirteenth Century, ed. Clare Kirchberger (London: Burns, Oates and Washbourne, 1927), p. xxix, "We cannot determine with any exactness who was the author of the Mirror, nor has anything further come to light since Miss Underhill, in 1911, conjectured that he may have been a secular priest or a Carthusian living on the borders of Flanders and France in the last third of the thirteenth century", and p. xxxii, "The boldness and humour of the Fleming seems to have pleased his censors, and their verdict appears to have satisfied him".
49. Že Book of Priue Counseling , ed. Hodgson (EETS 218:136); Mirror of Simple Souls, British Library, Add. 37,790 (A145,151v) and passim; ed. Kirchberger, p. 51 and passim.
50. Book of Priue Counseling , ed. Hodgson, EETS 218:135-6.
51. Cloud, ed. Hodgson, EETS 218.l-li, noting that MSS Kk, Har2, Ro1, U, Ro3 are all more Scandinavian, i.e. with East Anglican connections, than the base text chosen, Har1, on the theory that Har1 represents the language of the original. Eric Colledge, The Mediaeval Mystics of England (London: Murray, 1962), p. 75: Oxford, University College 14 contains a marginal note observing the derivation of part of The Cloud from Hilton's Of Reading (Scale of Perfection ).
52. Cloud, ed. Hodgson, EETS 218: British Library, MS Royal 17 D v (Ro3), fol. 59, " Here folowen dyuerse doctrynys deuowte and fruytfulle taken owte of the lyfe of that glorious virgyn and spowse of our Lorde Seynt Kateryne of Seenys "; Oxford, University College 14, which has East Anglian characteristics, at fol. 56v concludes with "doctrine schewyde of god to seynt Kateryne of seene. Of tokynes to knowe vysytac i ons bodyly or goostly vysyons whedyr žei come of god or of že feende", which is precisely the material used by Bishop Hermit Alfonso of Jaén and Cardinal Adam Easton in their defenses of St Birgitta of Sweden and which influenced St Catherine of Siena.
53. Porete, Speculum Animarum Simplicium, trans. Richard Methley: Pembroke College, Cambridge, 221.
54. James Grenehalgh annotated British Library, Harleian 2373, Harleian 6576, Royal 5.A.v, Add. 24,661, Add. 37,790; Cambridge, Emmanuel College I.ii.14, Trinity B.15.18; Oxford, Bodleian Library, Douce 262; Michael G. Sargent, James Grenehalgh as Textual Critic (Salzburg: Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistic Universität Salzburg, 1974), Analecta Cartusiana 10.
55. Cloud, ed. McCann, pp. 152-153; ed. Hodgson, EETS 218:xix, l. Stanbrook Abbey still has two manuscripts of these texts, measuring 4" x 6", from their Cambrai house where Father Baker had been their spiritual director, 1624-1633, while the Upholland Julian manuscript was also transcribed at Cambrai by these same nuns. My thanks to Dame Eanswythe Edwards, O.S.B., Stanbrook Abbey, for this information. Hodgson, EETS 218:xix, fn, states that the Ampleforth manuscript says it was transcribed 1677 "out ye Cambray copy of 1648, which was taken out of the old copy that was transcribed, 1582 " and again that it was taken "out of ye copy of Cambray, being a little thin Octavo, with parchment covers ". The Stanbrook manuscript is 1648. The 1582 manuscript would have been contemporary with that of the Julian Paris Long Text manuscript and thus likely a Syon or Sheen text. See John Rory Fletcher, The Story of the English Brigittines of Syon Abbey (Devon: Syon Abbey, 1933), p. 59, on the Syon nuns in hiding in England desiring to publish The Scale of Perfection at this time.
56. " Sed et tu, IESU, bone domine, nonne et tu mater? An non est mater, qui tamquam gallina congregat sub alas pullos suos? Vere, domine, et tu mater ", etc., S. Anselmi Cantuarensis archiepiscopi Opera Omnia, ed. Franciscus Salesius Schmitt (Edinburgh: Nelson, 1956), III.40; ' And you, Jesus, are you not also a mother?/Are you not the mother who, like a hen,/gathers her chickens under her wings?/ Truly, Lord, you are a mother;/for both they who are in labour/ and they who are brought forth/ are accepted by you', Prayers and Meditations of St Anselm , trans. Sister Benedicta Ward, S.L.G., p. 152-53; Pelphrey, Christ our Mother, p. 163; Grace M. Jantzen, Julian of Norwich: Mystic and Theologian , p. 114; Origen, Homily XII on Leviticus (owned in manuscript by Adam Easton), Patrologia cursus completus series Graeca, 12 (1857), 543: citing Galatians 4.19, "Donec formetur Christus in vobis".
57. Ritamary Bradley, Julian's Way: A Practical Commentary on Julian of Norwich (London: Harper Collins, 1992), p. 142; But a much closer correspondence can be found in the following Ancrene Riwle (trans. Salu, p. 175) passage: 58. Whiterig, Monk of Farne , ed. Farmer, trans. Benedictine of Stanbrook, p. 64. John Whiterig quotes from Hugh of St Victor, De arrhā animae, pp. 104, 109, and speaks of "God's Friends", p. 97. On p. 129, in the "Meditation upon Angels", Whiterig states "My opinion would, however, appear to be contradicted by what Denys the Areopagite together with St Gregory, hold to be true".
59. Linda Georgianna, The Solitary Self, p. 134; Flete, "Remedies against Temptations", ed. Colledge and Chadwick, . p. 205.
60. Chastising, ed. Bazire and Colledge, p. 91.
61. Chastising, ed Bazire and Colledge, p. 146, fols. 42-42v, "žou3tis of predestination and of že prescience of god, of the which metier I drede soore to write, for žese termes han ožer sentence in latyn žanne I can shewe in ynglisshe . . . [God's] prescience, žat is to seie on ynglisshe his forknowynge", a term to be repeated in Julian, is also found in Adam Easton's Italian manuscript copy of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 74, Berangarius episcopus Bisirrensis, 'Presciencia', fol. 195/CXCVv, where it is discussed similarly as knowing the future and in the context of freedom of will. Easton likely acquired this particular manuscript while in Italy and after his time of preaching in Norwich, teaching at Oxford.
62. Chastising, ed. Bazire and Colledge, p. 35.
63. Chastising, ed. Bazire and Colledge, ed., p. 46. See Cloud, p. 49, lines 15-16.
64. John Bale, Index Britanniae Scriptorum, ed. Reginald Lane Poole and Mary Bateson (Oxford: Clarendon, 1902, p. 6; John Bale also says Easton wrote De communicatione ydiomatum . See as well John Bale, Scriptorum illustrium maioris Brytannie, quam nunc Angliam et Scotium vocant: Catalogus (Basle: Opinorum, 1557-1559).
65. The Orcherd of Syon, ed. Phyllis Hodgson and Gabriel M. Liegey (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), Early English Text Society 258, p. vii; Jane Chance, 'St Catherine of Siena in Late Medieval Britain: Feminizing Literary Reception through Gender and Class', Annali d'Italianistica 13 (1995), 176; Elizabeth Psakis Armstrong, "Informing the Mind and Stirring up the Heart: Katherine of Siena at Syon", Studies in St Birgitta and the Brigittine Order , ed. James Hogg (Salzburg: Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik Universität Salzburg, 1993) 2: 170-198, esp. 189-193, on the relation of Catherine and Julian's texts to each other. Cristofano Di Gano, Catherine of Siena's secretary, also had Birgitta's Revelationes translated into Sienese Italian in 1399 in two fine illuminated manuscript volumes, today still in Siena, Biblioteca Communale degli Intronati, I.V.25/26.
66. Rosalynn Voaden, "The Middle English Epistola Solitarii ad Reges of Alfonso of Jaén: An Edition of the Text in British Library MS. Cotton Julius F ii", Studies in St. Birgitta and the Brigittine Order, 1: 144, noting the Norfolk provenance of the manuscript; F.R. Johnston , "English Defenders of St. Bridget", 1:263-275 (however, in connection with p. 265, Hamilton 7 is of Swedish provenance and so may also be Lincoln 114); James Hogg, ''Cardinal Easton's Letter to the Abbess and Community of Vadstena", 2: 20-26.
67. Siena, Biblioteca degli Intronati, I.V.25/26; Julia Bolton Holloway, "Saint Birgitta of Sweden, Saint Catherine of Siena: Saints, Secretaries, Scribes, Supporters,"Birgittiana 1 (1996), 29-45.
68. Siena, Biblioteca degli Intronati, C.XI.20. While in Florence is found an early fifteenth-century translation into Florentine of Marguerite Porete's Mirror of Simple Souls, its beginning and ending containing, in the same hand as the rest of the manuscript, extracts from Origen, one of them on women in Genesis, most probably produced in the Brigittine context of the Paradiso and possibly deriving from Adam Easton's strong interest in Origen (who wrote for women), and in women theologians, Biblioteca Riccardiana 1468.
69. Cloud, ed. Hodgson, EETS 218:13-14.
70. Adam Easton's Oxford astronomical treatises survive, Cambridge University Library Gg.VI.3, Norwich Cathedral Priory shelf mark C clxx, and Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, 347, that at Cambridge also containing his drawings of Norwich Cathedral, Norwich Castle; Cloud, ed. Hodgson, EETS 218:17.15-18.5; ed. McCann, p. 8, gives an interesting note from a Cambridge manuscript; Italian still uses "attimo" "toc", to speak of measurements of time.
71. Leslie John McFarlane, "The Life and Writings of Adam Easton, O.S.B." University of London, Ph.D. Thesis, 1955, pp. 36-48. We recall that Easton translated the Bible from Hebrew into Latin in the midst of much else, "ac Biblia tota ab hebreo in latium transtulisse," John Bale tells us, Index Britanniae Scriptorum, p. 6.
72. MacFarlane, "Adam Easton, O.S.B.", pp. 102, 137, 166, 205.
73.Cloud, ed. Hodgson, EETS 218:20.
74. " After this our lorde seyde: I thangke the of thy servys and of thy travelle of thy yowyth", P29, " aftyr this oure lorde sayd. I thanke the of thy servyce & of thy trauayle, & namly in ži 3ough", A102v.
75. Maika J. Will, "Dionysian Neoplatonism and the Theology of the Cloud Author", Downside Review, 110:379 (1992), 98-109.
76. Chastising, ed. Bazire and Colledge, pp. 44-48.
77. Carleton Brown, "The Prioress's Tale", Sources and Analogues of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, ed. W.F. Bryan and Germaine Dempster, pp. 447-487; Julia Bolton Holloway, "Convents, Courts and Colleges: The Prioress and the Second Nun", Equally in God's Image: Women in the Middle Ages, ed. Holloway, Bechtold and Wright, pp. 198-215.
78. Dr. Veronica O'Mara, University of Hull, is publishing a monograph with Leeds University on the Brigittine/Benedictine sermons in Cambridge University Library, Hh.1.11; manuscript described by Edmund Colledge and Noel Chadwick in "William Flete's Remedies Against Temptations", pp. 206-208.
79. Cloud, ed. Hodgson, EETS 218:l.
80. Joyce Bazire, "The Dialects of the Manuscripts of The Chastising of God's Children" English and Germanic Studies 6 (1957), 64-78.
81. See John P.H. Clark, "'The Lightsome Darkness' - Aspects of Walter Hilton's Theological Background", Downside Review 95 (1977), 95-109. While we have excellent Early English Text Society editions of the Ancrene Wisse/ Riwle and The Cloud of Unknowing and their related texts; we currently lack such editions for Walter Hilton's Scale of Perfection and Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love ( Michael Sargent is completing M.G. Bliss's edition of Part One, S.S. Hussey editing Part Two, of The Scale of Perfection for the EETS): Hilton Scale, trans. Clark and Dorward, p. 53.
82. Both the 1494 printed edition and John Bale, copying that information, Index Britanniae Scriptorum , p. 106, believed that Walter Hilton was a Carthusian; both give the opening of the Scala Perfectionis as "Ghostly Sister in Christ Jesus, Dilecta soror in Christe Iesu".
83. James Walsh and Eric Colledge, Of the Knowledge of Ourselves and of God, p. xvii, note that the manuscript "demonstrates the doctrinal and terminological interdependence of Walter Hilton and Julian of Norwich".
84. Edmund Colledge and James Walsh, "Editing Julian's Revelations: A Progress Report", Mediaeval Studies 38 (1976), 415.
85. John P.H. Clark, "Late Fourteenth Century Theology and the English Contemplative Tradition", The Medieval Mystical Tradition in England: Exeter Symposium V: Papers Read at the Devon Centre, Dartington Hall, 1992, ed. Marion Glasscoe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 1-16, esp. 3; Hilton, Scale, trans. Clark and Dorward, pp. 14-15; however, Wolfgang Riehle, The Middle English Mystics , p. 9, cites colophon to Marseilles 729, " Explicit liber . . . editus a . . . Waltero Hiltonensi Parisius in sacra pagina laureato magistro"; Michael G. Sargent, "The Transmission by the English Carthusians of some Late Medieval Spiritual Writings", Journal of Ecclesiastical History 27 (1976), 236.
86. British Library, Harley 2406, folios 58-60v.
87. The Longer Commentary of R. David Kimhi on the First Book of the Psalms, trans. R.G. Finch, p. 1, notes that this Sabbath Psalm was said by Adam at the Creation; John P.H. Clark, "Walter Hilton and the Psalm Commentary Qui Habitat" Downside Review 100:341 (1982), 235-262; "The Problem of Walter Hilton's Authorship: Bonum Est, Benedictus, and Of Angels' Song", Downside Review 101:342 (1983), 15-29. Further material, bibliography, on Rabbi David Kimhi: home.istar.ca/~glaird/
88. There are 42 manuscripts of Part One, 26 of Part Two of The Scale of Perfection, the work circulating far more widely than either The Cloud of Unknowing or Julian's Showing of Love. Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, had Wynken de Worde print it: Hilton, Scale, ed. Clark and Dorward, p. 33. James Grenehalgh would annotate the printed edition, Rosenbach Collection, 484H, with his and Joanna Sewell's monograms.
89. Hilton, Scale, ed. Underhill, p. 226.
90. Hilton, Scale, ed. Underhill, pp. 144-45.
91. Hilton, Scale, trans. Leo Sherley-Price (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1957), p. 101.
92. Hilton, Scale, ed. Underhill, p. 219.
93. Cloud, ed. Hodgson, EETS 218:71.14-17.
94. Aelred of Rievaulx, Institutione Inclusarum, ed. Ayto and Barrett (London: Oxford University Press, 1984), EETS 287:6.221-222.
95. Ancrene Wisse, ed. Tolkien, EETS 249: 27, 125.
96. Cloud, ed. Hodgson, EETS 218:71.11-16.
97. Clark, "English Contemplative Tradition", ed. Glasscoe, 1992, p. 4.
98. Colledge and Walsh in their edition, I.45, see Julian as much influenced by The Cloud of Unknowing and The Scale of Perfection. The three texts exist in a textual community. Their careful analysis by Marion Glasscoe, Medieval Mystics: Games of Faith makes their contextualisation obvious.

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