Nicholas Love's Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ. Sargent, Michael G. (9780859897419). Paperback.

Nicholas Love's Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ. Sargent, Michael G. (9780859897419). Paperback.

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Michael Sargent is Professor in the Department of English, Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He has published a number of books, including De Cella in Seculum: Religious and Secular Life and Devotion in Late Medieval England (Boydell & Brewer, 1989) and Nicholas Love at Waseda (Boydell & Brewer, 1997).

Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ is a particularly important work of late medieval English vernacular theology: it is seen as a landmark in the history of the official campaign to control lay access to vernacular paramystical texts. It is made available here for the first time in a critical modern paperback edition, complete with a short introduction, explanatory notes and a glossary. The volume is not merely a revision of Michael Sargent’s 1992 Garland best-text edition, now out of print, but a new full critical edition that uses the Garland volume only as its starting-point. Although based on the same manuscript, this new edition includes the results of a complete collation of the 71 known surviving manuscripts and early prints.Nicholas Love’s Mirror was a Middle English translation of the pseudo-Bonaventuran Meditationes Vitae Christi. The Latin text, probably written at the end of the thirteenth century or the beginning of the fourteenth, was a popular book of devotions on the events of the life and passion of Christ characteristic of late-medieval Franciscan spirituality. The Introduction places Love's Mirror, properly, at the centre of current scholarly discussion of the development of vernacular theology in late medieval England.

It is a most readable text, and Professor Sargent has given us back something of real worth.

New Directions

M.G S. is to be warmly commended on this fine edition of a major treatise in the vernacular and his book is a welcome addition to the devotional literature of the early 15th century.

Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique

The publishers have been generous in their provision of space, and the book is well sized, produced on good-quality paper, with eleven plates (seven colour) which allow a snapshot of the manuscripts.’‘…this will be the definitive edition of Love’s text; Sargent’s editorial labours have endowed it with a scholarly authority for the twenty-first century matching the ecclesiastical authority it enjoyed in the fifteenth.

(Medium Ævum, Vol. LXXVI

Michael G. Sargent has produced two editions of Nicholas Love’s The Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ:..

The Year’s Work in English Studies, Vol. 86, No. 1

Sargent’s introduction (sixteen pages) is very valuable, because it elucidates the complex circumstances of Love’s creation.’‘We believe that all university libraries should obtain a copy of this work.

Fifteenth-Century Studies 34

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