A Book of Showings to the Anchoress Julian of Norwich by of Norwich Julian;Edmund Colledge;James Walsh

By of Norwich Julian;Edmund Colledge;James Walsh

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Furthermore, her writing, in the long text especially, constantly displays remarkable congruity of both thought and language with contemporary English writings: notably The Treatise of Perfection of the Sons of God, The Cloud of Unknowing and The Scale of Perfection and their ancillary treatises, and Chaucer's Boethius. When we add to this the evidence, exhibited in detail in the annotations, that she was a highly accomplished rhetorician who could employ with ease the terms and concepts of the philosophers, only one deduction is possible: she must, early in life, have attracted the benevolent attention of some scholar or scholars who perceived her spiritual and intellectual gifts, and passed on to her the learning of the schools.

Aelredi Rievallemis opera omnia, i 642). 127 Medieval English Nunneries, 144. 128 F. N. : Complete Works of Chaucer, 21. , 237. 123 VIII JULIAN'S INTELLECTUAL FORMATION 45 short and long texts will show the evidence on which this opinion is based. She shows knowledge of such great masters as Augustine and Gregory; and she seems to have become deeply influenced, as she composed the 'second edition' of the long text, by William of St. Thierry, not only through his Golden Epistle, but also by other of his works, in her day known only in learned circles.

I. Watkin, reviewing Pre-Reformation English Spirituality (Downside Review 84, 1966, 99-102). 117 Norfolk and Norwich Records Office REG/ 4 Liber 8, f. 135'. We are indebted to Frank Sayer for identifying Caister's will and having it copied for us. VIII JULIAN'S INTELLECTUAL FORMATION 43 others as we have seen that Julian did. According to Tanner's evidence, there was after her time a marked increase in their numbers in Norwich. 118 This may have been through her example; but we must not deduce too much.

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