Richard Rolle and the Invention of Authority

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $55.17
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 8%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $55.17   
  • New (4) from $55.17   
  • Used (1) from $81.95   


This is the first literary study of the career of Richard Rolle (d. 1349), a Yorkshire hermit and mystic who was one of the most widely-read English writers of the late Middle Ages. Nicholas Watson proposes a new chronology of Rolle's writings, and offers the first literary analyses of a number of his works. He shows how Rolle's career, as a writer of passionate religious works in Latin and later in English, has as its principal focus the establishment of his own spiritual authority. The book also addresses wider issues, suggesting a new way of looking at mystical writing in general, and challenging the prevailing view of the relationship between medieval and Renaissance attitudes to authors and authority.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...the most substantial assessment of Rolle and his importance since Hope Emily Allen's monumental Writings Ascribed to Richard Rolle, Hermit of Hampole, and Materials for His Biography, published in 1927. It is a meticulous study of Rolle's works, emphasizing the Latin ones, as evidence for an emerging authorial persona that could reconcile Rolle's conflicting apologetic and didactic aims....[T]hose who stick with it will be impressed by a lively intelligence engaged on an elusive subject, who in his writings tended to speak through the veiled language of Scripture rather than directly. Watson and his publishers are to be praised for the abundance and length of the Latin quotations (with good translations) allowed into the book....Except for Hope Emily Allen, no one to date has devoted so much serious attention to Rolle's style. The reader who perseveres with Watson will arrive at a new respect for Rolle's career...." Michael P. Kuczynski, Speculum
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521033152
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature Series, #13
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; List of abbreviations; Introduction - contexts: three preliminary essays; Part I: 1. Interpreting Rolle's life; 2. The structure of Rolle's thought; Part II: 3. Active life: Judica me as apologetic pastoral; 4. Contemplative life, 'Seeing into Heaven': commentaries and Canticum amoris; Part III: 5. Contemplative life, Fervor: Incendium amoris; 6. Contemplative life, Dulcor: super psalmum vicesimum, Super canticum canticorum, Contra amatores mundi; 7. Contemplative life, Canor: melos amoris; Part IV: 8. 'Mixed' life: Super lectiones mortuorum and Emendatio vitae; 9. 'Mixed' life: the English works; Epilogue: Rolle as a late medieval Auctor; Excursus I: the chronology of Rolle's writings; Excursus II: Rolle's reading and the reliability of the Officium; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)