texts English Monastic Life, but F.A.
Gasquet, Shrines of British
Saints by J. Charles Wall, The Medieval Hospitals of England,
by Rotha Mary Clay, and The Home
of the Monk by Rev. D.H.S. Cranage are part of the public domain.
decided to transcribe these texts (for my own self, shared here with
you) after going a bit crazy in my pursuit
of 'down to basics' information regarding the life (people and parts)
of a medieval monastery. There is a lot of terrific scholarship
out there about monastics and other things religious (fabulous stuff
worth true study), but the worthy texts are written in today's academic
style (more footnotes than text and goodness me is everything practical
or informative edited out in 'peer review'?!) Not to get too
picky, but I need a 'for dummies' version before I can wade through
tomes full of untranslated Latin quotations.
When it comes to modern books on monastics I think the trouble is
1. Academe expects
its proteges to be personally and perpetually brilliant in all ways and
any type of publication (or part thereof) considered remotely 'common'
or 'pedantic' must be hurriedly and forcefully excoriated.
2. Monastic study belongs to the Monastic Study Club and if you
don't already know who did what in the refectory you aren't in
3. Fear of intellectual 'stealing,' accusations and reprisals (no
small thing in academic and other circles), leads to the decision to
leave anything already said unsaid.
(My gosh, I should be a humorist.)
So. Part of what I'm trying to do in my small, mediocre way is
make a little of the 'monastic basics' available to those who someday
might want to join the Monastic Study Club, which I hope is all
of you reading this because the history of the Monastic movement is
text: There are benefits to just scanning pages and making
pdfs but the problem is that--again with my peeves--I hate foxed,
lopsided, hard to read scans. And why is the part you want to
read always torn off, chewed, or blackened with toner? Plus, you
can't search for particular words or phrases and I love doing
that. So, I'm thinking, I have this great old book. If I'm
reading it anyway, why not type as I go along?
The trouble with being an amateur transcriber is that you get stuff
wrong. Use at your discretion and at your own risk. Please pay
attention to the common-sense disclaimer I posted on each page:
Public Domain text
and prepared "as is" for HTML and PDF by Richenda Fairhurst,
2007. No commercial permissions of this
transcription are granted. Text
I am not a good proof-reader (and I am doing all this anyway without
any type of compensation except what could be construed as altrusitic)
and though I go over each paragraph carefully, and with the goal to
recreate the text exactly down to the most strangely placed comma, I
often end up typing 'fro' instead of 'for' and making other silly
mistakes. And sometimes Gasquet et al. makes mistakes, too, so
there. So, you get what you get. I'd love to promise
you that the transcription is exact, but it is not. I would,
however, say that it's darn good.
American spelling? British, of course, considering
that these books are about British monastics, written by Britons,
published in London. Trouble is, my microsoft auto-correct is set
to American usage. In July 2007 I figured, what the heck, let it
change what it wants. In August I thought I'd maybe catch and
fix what I could. By September I tried to catch what it
'auto-fixed' and 'auto-unfix' it. But again, it's hard to catch
them all. Especially at two in the morning when all my joints
below the elbow form a union and vote collectively to stop cooperating
with my brain. What has resulted is a strange (and sometimes
cringe-worthy) amalgamation of
British-American usage. Sorry.
If the bastardization of British usage in the text bugs you, don't read
it. Buy the book yourself (Kissinger Publishing has a couple of
them) instead, and leave
me alone about it.
Other than that, I hope to slowly add texts to the site. I hope
you find the pages helpful. And I hope this will inspire you to
go on and read much, much more about the religious life and graduate to
today's very fine academic books on the subject. (Joanne McNamara
is a favoite of mine, as is Jane Tibbetts Schulenburg, and Caroline
The best regards, all--
Back to Gasquet's, English Monastic Life
Back to J. Charles Wall's Shrines
of British Saints.
Back to Clay's Medieval
Hospitals of England.