New on our bookshelf:
The Pricke of Conscience: An Annotated Edition of the Southern Recension
Edited by Jean E. Jost
This dramatic early 14th century Middle English sermon rehearses humanity’s wretchedness and the world’s instability, before contemplating the journey from death to the anguish of purgatory and hell, or ultimately to the joys of heaven. Its 7,316 lines of rhyming couplets present sensational descriptions intended to shock the audience into religious zeal, alongside a biblical exegesis reinforcing the message of salvation and cautioning against its impediments.
Although the Main version of the Pricke of Conscience has thrice been edited from three manuscripts, no version from the Southern Recension group has appeared to date. This edited version of a shorter, tighter Southern manuscript fills the gap. In-line glosses, extensive notes and translated Latin quotations make this fascinating text accessible to modern readers.