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Vol. 28 The Two Middle English Translations of the Revelations of St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Sarah McNamer (ed.) Edition from Cambridge University library MS Hh.i.11 and Wynkyn de Worde’s Printed Text of 1493 (1995)

The Revelations of Elizabeth of Hungary circulated during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, in Latin, French, Italian, Spanish and Catalan versions, as well as two independent Middle English translations edited here. The text is in many ways a distinctively female one, consisting primarily of lively dialogues between the Virgin Mary and Elizabeth (almost certainly not the famous Franciscan tertiary St Elizabeth (d. 1231), but her lesser-known Dominican great niece, Elizabeth of Töss (d. 1336)) and exhibiting a type of narration and piety frequently found in women’s visionary literature. The Revelations thus holds considerable interest for the study of medieval women’s writing, as well as the study of affective devotion, and the transmission of ‘enthusiastic’ piety from the continent to England. For scholars of late Middle English literature, the text is of further interest for the light it sheds on The Book of Margery Kempe, for Margery certainly knew the Revelations and appears to have modelled herself to some degree upon the saintly and ‘enthusiastic’ Elizabeth. The present volume presents three versions of the Revelations in parallel: the early fifteenth-century Middle English translation, edited for the first time from CUL MS Hh.i.11; the late fifteenth-century translation printed by Wynkyn de Worde, in which the emotional excesses are sometimes toned down or eliminated; and the Latin version from which two English translations derive, edited for the first time from Cambridge, Magdalene College MS F.4.14. The texts are accompanied by a substantial introduction, explanatory notes, and a selective glossary. Purchase here