Richard Whitford's Dyuers Holy Instrucyons and Teachynges Very Necessary for the Helth of Mannes Soule

BookRichard Whitford's Dyuers Holy Instrucyons and Teachynges Very Necessary for the Helth of Mannes Soule

Richard Whitford's Dyuers Holy Instrucyons and Teachynges Very Necessary for the Helth of Mannes Soule

Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies

2020

April 24th, 2020

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Richard Whitford’s Dyuers Holy Instrucyons and Teachynges Very Necessary for the Helth of Mannes Soule is the last printed work written by a brother of the Brigittine community at Syon Abbey. A vocal opponent of Lutheran reforms and Henry VIII’s agenda to install himself as the head of the Church of England, Richard Whitford was also Syon’s most prolific author. His writing provides pastoral guidance on a range of issues as well as powerful articulations of the value of religious life during the turbulent years preceding the king’s break from the Catholic Church. Published in 1541, Dyuers Holy Instrucyons is also the only Syon text printed after the dissolution of the monasteries. This text thus offers a rare perspective on the concerns of those faithful to the old religion from a religious brother who actively participated in the abbey’s campaign against Lutheran reformers. As with his previous work, Whitford’s Dyuers Holy Instrucyons maintains an openly confrontational stance toward radical reformers while offering instruction to readers on issues that would certainly have been topical for faithful who lived after the 1534 Act of Supremacy—issues focussed on patience, avoiding vice, impediments to spiritual perfection, and detraction. 

This edition makes this significant work available for the first time to modern readers with crucial discussions of the history and themes of the texts, including the indivisibility of politics and religion in the early years of the Reformation and the crucial role that Syon Abbey played in the textual representation of this period in English history.

Author Information

Brandon Alakas is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Alberta. Stephanie Morley is Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover1
Contents5
Illustrations7
Abbreviations8
Preface9
Introduction11
General Introduction11
The Life of Richard Whitford12
Syon Community, Lay Piety, and Vernacular Devotional Literature20
Monasticism and the Reformation24
Dyuers Holy Instrucyons and Teachynges Very Necessary for the Helth of Mannes Soule26
The Boke of Pacience30
A Worke of Dyuers Impediments and Lettes of Perfection34
An Instruction to auoyde and eschewe vyces and folowe good maners or the Consilia of Isidore38
Of Detraction. Chrisostomus homelia tercia39
Extant Copies of the Text43
William Middleton44
The Language of the Text45
Editorial Procedures48
The Text53
Dyuers Holy Instrucyons and Teachynges Very Necessary for the Helth of Mannes Soule55
The Boke of Pacience61
A Worke of Dyuers Impediments and Lettes of Perfection125
An Instruction to auoyde and eschewe vyces and folowe good maners or the Consilia of Isidore149
Of Detraction. Chrisostomus homelia tercia177
Notes on the Text183
Glossary201
Bibliography209
Index221