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The Secret WithinHermits, Recluses, and Spiritual Outsiders in Medieval England$
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Wolfgang Riehle

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451096

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451096.001.0001

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Marguerite Porete’s Mirror of Simple Souls and Its Reception in England

Marguerite Porete’s Mirror of Simple Souls and Its Reception in England

(p.135) Chapter 6 Marguerite Porete’s Mirror of Simple Souls and Its Reception in England
The Secret Within

Wolfgang Riehle

, Charity Scott-Stokes
Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Marguerite Porete's The Mirror of Simple Souls and how it was received in England. The Mirror of Simple Souls is a Middle English translation of the mystical text Le mirouer des simples âmes anienties et qui seulement demourent en vouloir et desir d'amour, which was condemned by twenty-one reputable theologians as heretical. The author, Marguerite Porete, was sentenced to death in 1310. This chapter first considers the characteristics of The Mirror of Simple Souls and the reception of the Mirouer des simples âmes through the Middle English translation. It then discusses the significance of The Mirror of Simple Souls in the history of English mysticism and Marguerite Porete's influence on the history of European spirituality. It also assesses the relation of The Mirouer/The Mirror to contemporary court culture and the feminist discourse.

Keywords:   mysticism, Marguerite Porete, The Mirror of Simple Souls, England, Europe, spirituality, court culture, feminist discourse

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