(go to HistoryfishHome)
 (back to Monastic Pages Home)
(go to Abbey Pages Home)
Leave a Comment
    Back to the Medieval Monastics Pages
  English Monastic Life    a note on the text                    

The 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.

I 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 threefold: 

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 it.  lol.  

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 absolutely fascinating.

Regarding this 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 transcribed and prepared "as is" for HTML and PDF by Richenda Fairhurst, historyfish.net.  August 2007.  No commercial permissions of this transcription are granted.  Text may contain errors. 

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.

British or American spelling?   British, of course, considering that these books are about British monastics, written by Britons, and 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. SorryWarning: 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 Bynum.)

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.


Historyfish pages, content, and design copyright (c) Richenda Fairhurst, 2008
All rights reserved. No commercial permissions are granted.

The Historyfish site, as a particular and so unique "expression," is copyright. However, some (most) source material is part of the public domain, and so free of copyright restrictions. Where those sections are not clearly marked, please contact me so I can assist in identifying and separating that material from the Historyfish site as a whole.

When using material from this site, please keep author, source, and copyright permissions with this article.

Historyfish  intends to generate discussion through shared information and does not claim to provide, in any way, formal, legal, or factual advice or information. These pages are opinion only.  Opinions shared on historyfish are  not necessarily the opinions of historyfish editors, staff, owners or administrators.  Always consult proper authorities with questions pertaining to copyrights, property rights, and intellectual property rights.

It is my intent to follow copyright law (however impossibly convoluted that may be). Please contact me should any material included here be copyright protected and posted in error. I will remove it from the site. Thank you.