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Vol. 14 A Myrour to Lewde Men and Wymmen

Edited by Venetia Nelson (1981). Edition from MS Harley 45.

The Myrrour to Lewde Men and Wymmen, also known as the Mirror of Life, is the prose counterpart of the fourteenth-century poem Speculum Vite. It exists in four manuscripts of the fifteenth century, with no suggestion of authorship. Because of the character of its text as compared with the Speculum Vite, it is possible that the Myrrour was the earlier text and the Speculum Vite its metrical rendering. In this case the work of rearranging the material of the Somme le Roi, the ancestor of these two texts, must be attributed to the author of the Myrrour.  In 2008 Ralph Hanna published Speculum Vitae: A Reading Edition as EETS OS 331 and 332, using materials that had been collected and assembled by Venetia Somerset (formerly Nelson).  This MET edition of part of the Myrrour serves as an introduction to this long and interesting work, and also as material for comparison with the Speculum Vite.

This volume is currently out of print.