Anonymous: Katherine Group (501 words)


The Katherine Group, like Ancrene Wisse and the Wohunge Group (Wooing Group), was written in English by an anonymous author in the West Midlands in the early thirteenth century for an audience including but not limited to anchoresses. The Katherine Group consists of five texts: “Holy Virginity”, “Custody of the Soul”, “St Margaret”, “St Juliana” and “St Katherine”, all of which have an obvious relevance to women vowed to virginity.

“Holy Virginity” addresses a “maiden”, advising her of the advantages of virginity and the disadvantages of marriage. Its distaste for marriage, though vehement, remains within Christian orthodoxy: marriage is permissible, but greatly inferior to virginity. The …

Citation: Salih, Sarah. "Katherine Group". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2002 [, accessed 21 October 2020.]

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