Session Title

Unmystical Rolle

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Lollard Society

Organizer Name

Michael Van Dussen; Andrew Kraebel

Organizer Affiliation

McGill Univ.; Trinity Univ.

Presider Name

Steven Rozenski

Presider Affiliation

Univ. of Rochester

Paper Title 1

Demystifying Heavenly Song: "Canor" and the Devotional Text

Presenter 1 Name

Timothy Glover

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Oxford

Paper Title 2

Strong Women and Scribal Authors

Presenter 2 Name

Andrew Kraebel

Paper Title 3

The Hussite Context of Rolle's Latin Psalter

Presenter 3 Name

Petra Mutlová; Michael Van Dussen

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Masaryk Univ.; McGill Univ.

Start Date

12-5-2018 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1135

Description

The early fourteenth-century Yorkshire hermit, Richard Rolle, has long been known as one of the premier mystical writers of the English Middle Ages. He was positioned at the beginning of “the brilliant procession of English mystics” by Evelyn Underhill (1911), a reputation supported by the early publication of Incendium Amoris, the most substantial account of his mystical experiences, by Margaret Deanesly (1915). This view of Rolle as primarily a mystical author is supported, more recently, in Nicholas Watson’s influential literary biography, Richard Rolle and the Invention of Authority (1991), where his less obviously mystical works are positioned early in Rolle’s career, thereby made explicable as juvenilia beyond which the mystic quickly moved. This session aims to balance this longstanding emphasis by attending instead to what might be called, roughly, Rolle’s unmystical works (in English and in Latin)––derivative pieces, dull tracts, boring bits of exegesis, rigidly programmatic writings, etc. How might devoting more sustained attention to these works change our understanding of this important English author, of his appeal to medieval readers, and perhaps even of the chronology of his writings that Watson proposed? Papers should focus on individual writings or groups of writings by (or attributed to) Rolle, on case studies of manuscripts containing his works, or perhaps on uses of Rolle’s texts in other late medieval literature.

Michael Van Dussen

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May 12th, 10:00 AM

Unmystical Rolle

Schneider 1135

The early fourteenth-century Yorkshire hermit, Richard Rolle, has long been known as one of the premier mystical writers of the English Middle Ages. He was positioned at the beginning of “the brilliant procession of English mystics” by Evelyn Underhill (1911), a reputation supported by the early publication of Incendium Amoris, the most substantial account of his mystical experiences, by Margaret Deanesly (1915). This view of Rolle as primarily a mystical author is supported, more recently, in Nicholas Watson’s influential literary biography, Richard Rolle and the Invention of Authority (1991), where his less obviously mystical works are positioned early in Rolle’s career, thereby made explicable as juvenilia beyond which the mystic quickly moved. This session aims to balance this longstanding emphasis by attending instead to what might be called, roughly, Rolle’s unmystical works (in English and in Latin)––derivative pieces, dull tracts, boring bits of exegesis, rigidly programmatic writings, etc. How might devoting more sustained attention to these works change our understanding of this important English author, of his appeal to medieval readers, and perhaps even of the chronology of his writings that Watson proposed? Papers should focus on individual writings or groups of writings by (or attributed to) Rolle, on case studies of manuscripts containing his works, or perhaps on uses of Rolle’s texts in other late medieval literature.

Michael Van Dussen