|dc.description.abstract||This thesis provides an edition of the first part of The Myrrour or Glasse of Christes Passion (STC 14553). No modern critical edition has previously been made of this text, which was published in 1534 in a single edition. Until recently, it has received little scholarly attention.
The Myrrour is an English translation of the Speculum Passionis Domini Nostri Ihesu Christi, a Latin devotional compilation by German physician and printer Ulrich Pinder, printed in Nuremburg in 1507 and 1519. The translation was commissioned by English courtier Sir John Hussey and written by Syon father John Fewterer, who completed it in December 1533. To make the text accessible to a modern reader, I have added modern punctuation and paragraphs, and supplied a detailed commentary and a glossary providing definitions of words that may not be easily recognisable.
In Part I of the introduction I place the book in the contexts of Syon Abbey’s other devotional publications, and of English Passion meditation in general. Here I compare the Myrrour with other English lives of Christ, arguing that it is significantly different from any that preceded it. Part I concludes with an overview of existing scholarship on the Myrrour. In Part II, I examine the Latin source of Fewterer’s Myrrour, discussing the content, structure and sources of Pinder’s Speculum Passionis, and its connections with the humanist movement. Part III begins with a brief overview of the structure and content of the Myrrour’s text. I then examine the Myrrour as a translation, making close comparisons with its Latin source and commenting on Fewterer’s style and technique of translation. In Part IV, I outline the context of the Myrrour’s Reformation audience, examining the book in relation to Fewterer’s life, his connections with intellectual and humanist circles, and Reformation politics.
Pinder’s Speculum Passionis is a compilation of excerpts from many medieval devotional texts. In the commentary, I identify as many as possible of his sources. I also provide background information and explanation of any content that might be obscure to a modern reader, and note those places where Fewterer has altered, or significantly added to, Pinder’s text.
Appendix 1 contains a list of emendations made to the text. Appendix 2 provides a summary of the sources Ulrich Pinder used in compiling this first part of his book. Appendix 3 contains a comparison of the printed Myrrour with the manuscript copy (which I believe to be a transcript of the printed text) in London, St Paul’s Cathedral MS 52. B. 22.
Fewterer’s Myrrour represents a genre of devotional compilation popular on the Continent but unusual in England. It contains excerpts from the work of notable Augustinians such as Jordanus of Quedlinberg and Ludolphus of Saxony, whose work had never previously been printed in English translation. It is also interesting as one of the last publications to be produced by Syon Abbey before its suppression in 1539, and as an orthodox Catholic work printed against the background of spiritual, social and political upheaval that was the English Reformation.||