John Capgrave

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Karen Winstead (Ohio State University)

The Augustinian friar John Capgrave was among the most prolific authors of fifteenth-century England. His œuvre in Latin and English includes commentaries on the Bible, saints’ lives, history, biography, and a pilgrim’s guide to Rome. Though he wrote in conventional genres, he experimented with form and content. An avid reader and scholar, he promoted an informed Christianity among women and men, laity and clergy, at a time when many in the church were suspicious of “vernacular theologizing”.


Capgrave hailed from the prosperous port city of King’s Lynn, Norfolk. When he was about seventeen years old, he entered the Augustinian friary at Lynn, and he was …

2857 words

Citation: Winstead, Karen. "John Capgrave". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 January 2023 [, accessed 30 January 2023.]

730 John Capgrave 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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