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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume II. The End of the Middle Ages.

XII. English Prose in the Fifteenth Century, I

§ 9. Juliana of Norwich

An incidental remark in The Ladder, “this readest thou in every book that teacheth of good living,” bears witness to a considerable body of literature of which only fragments have come down to use. Chief among them is the well-known Reve lations of Divine Love by the anchoress Juliana of Norwich, a work of fervent piety, pre-eminent in the graces of humility and love. Juliana’s meditations upon her vision evince her acquaintance with Hylton, and probably, with other religious writers. Such study was, indeed, a duty strictly enjoined upon recluses by the Ancren Riwle. More than once she uses Hylton’s actual words when developing the same ideas: “the soul is a life,” they both reiterate, and Juliana terms its inalterably pure essence, or spirit, as distinguished from the sense-perceptions, its substance in a manner reminiscent of older scholars. Apparently, she was not acquainted with the translations of à Kempis, made in the middle of the century, and again translated for the Lady Margaret.