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Posted March 24, 2009
A Most Thorough Edition of the First Book Written by a Female in English (Middle, that is).
As is usual, Norton has provided the academic world with an invaluable resource by issuing The Showings of Julian of Norwich in a Critical Edition. The text is faithful to that of the Middle English original, with some standardized spelling, punctuation and paragraph divisions introduced to eliminate the variances which existed in the orignal tongue. To have this text in a readily available edition, and in the Middle English language, is cause enough for muted celebration. It should prove to be of nearly incalculable worth to the scholar of either the Medieval English period or literature, or those who are studying medieval theology. However, it should be noted that Julian's Showings exist in two accepted forms, the short and the long. This NCE contains only the longer version, while some others, most notably the Penguin edition, contain both. This is a small caveat, as the longer version seems to have been regarded as more authoritative than the shorter, even though the latter was composed long before its successor. Also of note: This edition is not designed in any way for the casual reader. The supplementary material and layout of the text will most likely defeat the person who picks this up out of sheer curiosity. Still, as an academic resource, this NCE of Julian's Showings is, I believe, the finest readily available in your local bookshop as of this writing. NCEs rarely go out of print (they never die; they just undergo revision), so the continued availability of this edition should be assured. For the medieval scholar, go get this now.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.