The genre of Ancrene Wisse

Millett, Bella (2003) The genre of Ancrene Wisse. In, Wada, Yoko (eds.) A Companion to Ancrene Wisse. Woodbridge, Boydell & Brewer, 29-44.


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The chapter addresses the question of whether Ancrene Wisse can be described as a 'rule'. 'There is no doubt that the author drew both his overall structure and much of his content from a medieval tradition of anchoritic and monastic legislation; but these parallels in structure are not matched by a parallel in function. The prescriptions of the "Outer Rule" are advisory, not mandatory, and the "Inner Rule" has only divine, not human, authority'. The 'Outer Rule' could be more accurately described as a 'customary'; the 'Inner Rule' 'shares no distinctive features with the 'rule' as a genre, and could even be seen, to some extent, as defined in opposition to it; its main debt is to other genres of religious writing.'

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 0859917622 (hardback)
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > English
ePrint ID: 28921
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 18 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:54

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