Three Sermons for 'Nova Festa', together with the 'Hamus Caritatis'

Edited from Caxton´s 1491 Edition of John Mirk´s 'Festial'

1. Edition, 2007
54 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-5428-2
Product: Book
Edition: Softcover
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: Middle English Texts, Volume No.: 37
Available: 13.12.2007

Keywords: Altenglisch, Mittelenglisch, Predigt, Geschichte 1380, Quelle, Mirk, John, Festial, Edition, Mittelenglich

The 'Festial' is a collection of sermons de tempore and de sanctis compiled by the Austin canon, John Mirk, probably around the late 1380s. It circulated widely in manuscript, undergoing one recension and one significant revision, of which the Advent and Nativity sermons were edited as MET 13. It was one of Caxton's earliest editions, printed first in 1483 (STC 17957) and again, in a different edition, in 1491 (STC 17959). Both editions were issued in conjunction with the 'Quattuor Sermones' (MET 2), catechetical and penitential material clumsily accommodated into four preaching sermons. Between the two editions, however, two new feasts had been licensed for celebration, the feasts of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (6 August) and the Holy Name of Jesus (7 August). At the end of his 1491 edition Caxton added sermons for these two new feasts, as well as a sermon for the feast of the Visitation of the Virgin (2 July), licensed for the province of Canterbury in 1480. To these three new sermons he appended the 'Hamus Caritatis', a brief treatise on the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament and the Two Precepts of the New Testament. The latter appears to stem from the Bridgettine monastery of Syon Abbey, and it has been argued that the sermons themselves may have the same provenance. The sermons and the 'Hamus Caritatis' have not previously been edited, despite their significance for our understanding of the evolution and transmission of the 'Festial'. This new edition (based on the 1491 edition) includes a Commentary and an Introduction that discusses the printing history of the 'Festial', the provenance and content of the sermons and 'Hamus Caritatis', and the Syon connections of the 'Quattuor Sermones'.

Steve Morrison in: Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 109, 1 (2010), 128ff