Catalogue


Looking inward : devotional reading and the private self in late medieval England /
Jennifer Bryan.
imprint
Philadelphia, Pa. : University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.
description
270 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0812240480 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780812240481 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
Philadelphia, Pa. : University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.
isbn
0812240480 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780812240481 (hardcover : alk. paper)
contents note
A very inward man -- Seeing a difference : mirrors and texts -- Private passions -- Profitable sights : the showings of Julian of Norwich -- Hoccleve's glasses.
catalogue key
6362978
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [241]-261) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-08-01:
This interesting, solid thematic study considers the subject of self-reflection in late-medieval and early-modern devotional literature in England. Bryan (Oberlin College) finds that devotional literature, the most popular literature of the era (1350-1550), provides a means of understanding the language and literary techniques of self-presentation and illuminates the extent to which these concepts contributed to the larger cultural conversation about what constitutes the private, literate self in England during this time of rising literacy and documented interest in the relationship of the solitary self and the social world. An introduction sketches key concepts and contexts, including gender, literacy, audience, and social class. These are elaborated in greater detail in the first main chapter and fully fleshed out in topically focused, chronologically sequenced chapters, which offer textual analysis of Augustine's mirror trope and The Myroure of Oure Ladye; Passion meditations and The Prickynge of Love; theological creativity and Julian of Norwich's Showings; commercial applications of self-fashioning and Hoccleve's lyrics. Eschewing the theoretical lexicon typical of discussions of subjectivity targeting more specialized readers (e.g., work by Sarah Stanbury, Karma Lochrie, Caroline Bynum), this straightforward, accessible study will appeal to everyone interested in English literature and culture. Summing Up: Recommended Upper-division undergraduates and above. C. S. Cox University of Pittsburgh
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Bryan's study brings to the subject a commanding authorial voice and sense of detail that makes it a lively, enjoyable read."- Medieval Review
"Bryan's study brings to the subject a commanding authorial voice and sense of detail that makes it a lively, enjoyable read."- The Medieval Review
"Bryan's study brings to the subject a commanding authorial voice and sense of detail that makes it a lively, enjoyable read."--The Medieval Review
"This straightforward, accessible study will appeal to everyone interested in English literature and culture."- Choice
"This straightforward, accessible study will appeal to everyone interested in English literature and culture."--Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Looking Inward Devotional Reading and the Private Self in Late Medieval England Jennifer Bryan "This straightforward, accessible study will appeal to everyone interested in English literature and culture."--"Choice" "Bryans study brings to the subject a commanding authorial voice and sense of detail that makes it a lively, enjoyable read."--"Medieval Review" "You must see yourself." The exhortation was increasingly familiar to English men and women in the two centuries before the Reformation. They encountered it repeatedly in their devotional books, the popular guides to spiritual self-improvement that were reaching an ever-growing readership at the end of the Middle Ages. But what did it mean to see oneself? What was the nature of the self to be envisioned, and what eyes and mirrors were needed to see and know it properly? "Looking Inward" traces a complex network of answers to such questions, exploring how English readers between 1350 and 1550 learned to envision, examine, and change themselves in the mirrors of devotional literature. By all accounts, it was the most popular literature of the period. With literacy on the rise, an outpouring of translations and adaptations flowed across traditional boundaries between religious and lay, and between female and male, audiences. As forms of piety changed, as social categories became increasingly porous, and as the heart became an increasingly privileged and contested location, the growth of devotional reading created a crucial arena for the making of literate subjectivities. The models of private reading and self-reflection constructed therein would have important implications, not only for English spirituality, but for social, political, and poetic identities, up to the Reformation and beyond. In "Looking Inward," Bryan examines a wide range of devotional and secular texts, from works by Walter Hilton, Julian of Norwich, and Thomas Hoccleve to neglected translations like "The Chastising of Gods Children" and "The Pricking of Love." She explores the models of identification and imitation through which they sought to reach the inmost selves of their readers, and the scripts for spiritual desire that they offered for the cultivation of the heart. Illuminating the psychological paradigms at the heart of the genre, Bryan provides fresh insights into how late medieval men and women sought to know, labor in, and profit themselves by means of books. Jennifer Bryan is Associate Professor of English at Oberlin College. The Middle Ages Series 2007 280 pages 6 x 9 ISBN 978-0-8122-4048-1 Cloth $55.00s 36.00 ISBN 978-0-8122-0149-9 Ebook $55.00s 36.00 World Rights Literature Short copy: Bryan examines a wide range of devotional and secular texts, from works by Walter Hilton, Julian of Norwich, and Thomas Hoccleve to explore the models of identification and imitation through which they sought to reach the inmost selves of their readers, and the scripts for spiritual desire that they offered for the cultivation of the heart.
Main Description
"You must see yourself." The exhortation was increasingly familiar to English men and women in the two centuries before the Reformation. They encountered it repeatedly in their devotional books, the popular guides to spiritual self-improvement that were reaching an ever-growing readership at the end of the Middle Ages. But what did it mean to see oneself? What was the nature of the self to be envisioned, and what eyes and mirrors were needed to see and know it properly?Looking Inwardtraces a complex network of answers to such questions, exploring how English readers between 1350 and 1550 learned to envision, examine, and change themselves in the mirrors of devotional literature. By all accounts, it was the most popular literature of the period. With literacy on the rise, an outpouring of translations and adaptations flowed across traditional boundaries between religious and lay, and between female and male, audiences. As forms of piety changed, as social categories became increasingly porous, and as the heart became an increasingly privileged and contested location, the growth of devotional reading created a crucial arena for the making of literate subjectivities. The models of private reading and self-reflection constructed therein would have important implications, not only for English spirituality, but for social, political, and poetic identities, up to the Reformation and beyond. InLooking Inward, Bryan examines a wide range of devotional and secular texts, from works by Walter Hilton, Julian of Norwich, and Thomas Hoccleve to neglected translations likeThe Chastising of God's ChildrenandThe Pricking of Love. She explores the models of identification and imitation through which they sought to reach the inmost selves of their readers, and the scripts for spiritual desire that they offered for the cultivation of the heart. Illuminating the psychological paradigms at the heart of the genre, Bryan provides fresh insights into how late medieval men and women sought to know, labor in, and profit themselves by means of books.
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Looking Inward' explores how English readers between 1350 and 1550 learned to envision, examine and change themselves in the mirrors of devotional literature, by all accounts the most popular literature of the period.
Long Description
"You must see yourself." The exhortation was increasingly familiar to English men and women in the two centuries before the Reformation. They encountered it repeatedly in their devotional books, the popular guides to spiritual self-improvement that were reaching an ever-growing readership at the end of the Middle Ages. But what did it mean to see oneself? What was the nature of the self to be envisioned, and what eyes and mirrors were needed to see and know it properly?Looking Inward traces a complex network of answers to such questions, exploring how English readers between 1350 and 1550 learned to envision, examine, and change themselves in the mirrors of devotional literature. By all accounts, it was the most popular literature of the period. With literacy on the rise, an outpouring of translations and adaptations flowed across traditional boundaries between religious and lay, and between female and male, audiences. As forms of piety changed, as social categories became increasingly porous, and as the heart became an increasingly privileged and contested location, the growth of devotional reading created a crucial arena for the making of literate subjectivities. The models of private reading and self-reflection constructed therein would have important implications, not only for English spirituality, but for social, political, and poetic identities, up to the Reformation and beyond.In "Looking Inward," Bryan examines a wide range of devotional and secular texts, from works by Walter Hilton, Julian of Norwich, and Thomas Hoccleve to neglected translations like "The Chastising of God's Children" and "The Pricking of Love," She explores the models of identification and imitationthrough which they sought to reach the inmost selves of their readers, and the scripts for spiritual desire that they offered for the cultivation of the heart. Illuminating the psychological paradigms at the heart of the genre, Bryan provides fresh insights into how late medieval men and women sought to know, labor in, and profit themselves by means of books.
Main Description
"You must see yourself." The exhortation was increasingly familiar to English men and women in the two centuries before the Reformation. They encountered it repeatedly in their devotional books, the popular guides to spiritual self-improvement that were reaching an ever-growing readership at the end of the Middle Ages. But what did it mean to see oneself? What was the nature of the self to be envisioned, and what eyes and mirrors were needed to see and know it properly? Looking Inward traces a complex network of answers to such questions, exploring how English readers between 1350 and 1550 learned to envision, examine, and change themselves in the mirrors of devotional literature. By all accounts, it was the most popular literature of the period. With literacy on the rise, an outpouring of translations and adaptations flowed across traditional boundaries between religious and lay, and between female and male, audiences. As forms of piety changed, as social categories became increasingly porous, and as the heart became an increasingly privileged and contested location, the growth of devotional reading created a crucial arena for the making of literate subjectivities. The models of private reading and self-reflection constructed therein would have important implications, not only for English spirituality, but for social, political, and poetic identities, up to the Reformation and beyond. In Looking Inward , Bryan examines a wide range of devotional and secular texts, from works by Walter Hilton, Julian of Norwich, and Thomas Hoccleve to neglected translations like The Chastising of God's Children and The Pricking of Love . She explores the models of identification and imitation through which they sought to reach the inmost selves of their readers, and the scripts for spiritual desire that they offered for the cultivation of the heart. Illuminating the psychological paradigms at the heart of the genre, Bryan provides fresh insights into how late medieval men and women sought to know, labor in, and profit themselves by means of books.
Table of Contents
A Note on Spelling and Punctuationp. ix
Introductionp. 1
A Very Inward Manp. 35
Seeing a Difference: Mirrors and Textsp. 75
Private Passionsp. 105
Profitable Sights: The Showings of Julian of Norwichp. 145
Hoccleve's Glassesp. 176
Afterwardp. 204
Notesp. 209
Works Citedp. 241
Indexp. 263
Acknowledgmentsp. 269
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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