Anonymous, Ancrene Wisse [Guide for Anchoresses]

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Ancrene Wisse


Ancrene Riwle

(Guide for Anchoresses) was written in the early thirteenth century, probably in the same centre and for the same audience, possibly by the same author, as the texts of the Katherine and Wooing Groups. It was read throughout the Middle Ages, adapted several times for different audiences, translated into Latin and French and exchanged, quoted and copied into the sixteenth century. It survives in seventeen manuscripts. Internal evidence indicates that the original audience consisted of three well-born sisters who had withdrawn from the world to live in perpetual seclusion as anchoresses. In an ingenious argument centring on a possible anagram, E. J. Dobson speculated that the author might have been Brian of Lingen, thought to have been an Augustinian canon…

1884 words

Citation: Salih, Sarah. "Ancrene Wisse". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 November 2001 [, accessed 15 April 2024.]

6649 Ancrene Wisse 3 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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