This volume makes readily available for the first time a critical
edition of The Doctrine of the Hert, the fifteenth-century English
translation of De doctrina cordis, a thirteenth-century Latin
devotional treatise addressed to nuns. A religious bestseller, the
Doctrina circulated throughout Europe between the thirteenth and
fifteenth centuries and was translated into six different
languages. The Doctrina progressively pairs the seven gifts of the
Holy Spirit with seven key actions of the heart, leading readers
toward contemplative unity with God. Despite its medieval
popularity, the Doctrina has largely escaped the attention of
scholars until recently. Exeter's edition offers a full textual
commentary, while its introduction not only examines current
thinking upon the Doctrina's authorship and envisaged primary
audience, but also takes advantage of recent scholarly
breakthroughs in the understanding of late medieval female
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