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The fifteenth-century Speculum devotorum, or Mirror to Devout People, is best known for incorporating the texts of mystical women into its narrative of the life of Christ, likely because it has an explicitly stated female audience—a nun of Syon. Rather than considering how the female audience may have perceived the female sources in Speculum devotorum, this article investigates the compiler’s views of his female sources based on how he incorporates them into his work. I argue that the compiler treats his female sources as full auctores, but he only includes their works when he addresses what he considers female concerns.
I would like to thank Mary Dzon for initial comments on the article, and I am grateful for the advice of my reviewers, particularly the very thoughtful and thorough comments of the first reviewer.
Speculum devotorum, Mirror to Devout People, Birgitta of Sweden, Mechtild of Hackeborn, Catherine of Siena, Elizabeth of Hungary, women visionaries, Syon Abbey
BranumThrash, Caitlin J. "Selecting Authority: the Compiler and Female Mystical Sources in Speculum devotorum." Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality 58, No. 2 (2023) : 40-74.