A book of showings to the anchoress Julian of Norwich by of Norwich Julian;Edmund Colledge;James Walsh

By of Norwich Julian;Edmund Colledge;James Walsh

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3). 300), there is a deft and complex evocation of the numerous texts in both Testaments which celebrate the Redeemer as the 'flos de radice Jesse'. If the author of the carol, 'O of Jesse thow holy rote', cited in the annotation, ever read or heard this passage from Julian's book, he would at once have understood its import, because he also had inherited the same monastic traditions. Without some knowledge of them, her book will remain closed. It has already been suggested that one obstacle to acceptance of Julian as a proficient scholar has been a too willing credence in her own account of herself as 'a woman that could no letter'.

Some of her many conflations of several different Scriptural texts seem to be carefully contrived. 18, a compar taken over with little rewriting from the short text; cf. 33) appears knowingly to combine Matthew's account of Peter's rescue from drowning with the story in all the synoptic gospels of the disciples' appeal to the sleeping Jesus. But, naturally, Julian depended for her knowledge of the Bible on texts which were often faulty. 164: 'Septies in die laudem dixi tibi,' an error common in mediaeval Bible-manuscripts.

That Julian wore her learning so lightly, that she is so insistent (especially in her first edition) on her untutored simplicity, suggests, certainly, that she knew that it would be impolitic to set herself up as a bluestocking, but also that she herself had little use for bluestockings. One of the present editors some years ago provoked irate criticism when he adverted to Margery Kempe's story,114 of her meeting with Richard Caister, the saintly parish priest of St. 116 But Caister's will, made on 27 March, 1420,117 confirms the impression we may form from Margery's story.

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