wood s lot features a couple of interesting multilingual journals:

Tambou/Tambour, Revue trilingue haïtienne d’études politiques et littéraires / Revi ayisyen an twa lang sou keksyon politik e literè / Trilingual Haitian Journal of political and literary studies.

Transference, an Italian/English journal of comparative poetry, edited from Oxford by Erminia Passannanti (the subject of many links at ::: wood s lot ::: today); its Novecento [20th Century] page features many authors, both Italian and English-language, with copious quotes and translations.

He also links to an excellent online edition of the Ancrene Wisse (when did this stop being known as Ancren(e) Riwle, the name I’m used to?):

Ancrene Wisse, a Middle English ‘rule’ or ‘guide’ for female recluses, was composed in the West Midlands in the early thirteenth century… The work draws on a wide variety of sources: the Church Fathers, particularly Augustine of Hippo and Gregory the Great; later monastic writers, particularly Bernard of Clairvaux and Aelred of Rievaulx (whose Latin rule for anchoresses, De Institutione inclusarum, c. 1160, is an important source); and the pastoral manuals and preaching aids developed in the Paris schools during the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries… Ancrene Wisse is clearly the work of a highly-educated author, but it does not assume an equally highly-educated audience; although both French and Latin versions survive, it seems to have been composed originally in Middle English, and most of the Latin it contains, apart from the prayers and hymns which would have formed part of the anchoresses’ daily routine, is translated or glossed.


  1. I don’t know about any of you, but for me it’s so cool to read even just the title of the tri-lingual Haitian Creole anthology. All the Haitians I ever knew were illiterate in their native Creole and educated in French, if educated at all.

  2. Replacing the dead links with archived ones, I was pleased to see that Tambou/Tambour is still going strong, surprised to see that there’s still so little online about Erminia Passannanti (this is the most comprehensive page I found — there’s not even an Italian Wikipedia article, though they have one for the anarchist Giovanni Passannante), and annoyed that I still have no answer to my question about the Ancrene Wisse/Riwle (the Wikipedia article says the latter is “a modern title for the work, perhaps derived from Morton’s 1853 translation,” but doesn’t say when it fell out of fashion).

  3. David Marjanović says

    The Wikipedia article also quietly cites Tolkien (1929): Ancrene Wisse and Hali Meiðhad, so at least that form has been known for a good long while.

  4. Oh, I’m sure it was, and of course Tolkien would use the most archaic/authentic/hobbitish form he could find, but it certainly wasn’t current back then. As I say, I was exposed only to Riwle back in the late ’60s (more or less — I don’t really know).

  5. ktschwarz says

    Bella Millett’s edition of Ancrene Wisse is still online via the Oxford Text Archive, sort of: the transcription is damaged, with thorn and eth (and all other non-ASCII characters) mushed into �, which I fear implies that nobody is actually using it. (It never had yogh — they substituted the number 3, since in 2003 they didn’t trust browsers to display yogh.) *gnashes teeth* at the waste of effort and money. But the manuscript images are still good.

    This edition was also published in hardcopy by the EETS in 2005-06, so at least the editorial work has that much permanence.

  6. David Marjanović says

    The non-ASCII characters reappear if you fix the encoding. (Firefox doesn’t show me which it is, but clicking on View > Repair Encoding fixes it.) And then you can copy & paste them:

    2 I þe Feaderes ant i þe Sunes ant i þe Hali Gastes nome, her biginneð Ancrene Wisse.

    [1] Recti diligunt te. In Canticis: sponsa ad sponsum. Est rectum gramaticum, rectum geometricum, rectum theologicum; et sunt differencie totidem regularum. De recto theologico sermo nobis est, cuius regule due sunt: vna circa cordis directionem, altera uersatur circa exteriorum rectificationem.

    Translation | Text + Translation | Apparatus Criticus | Textual Commentary

    [2] Recti diligunt te. 4 ‘Lauerd’, seið Godes spuse to hire deore[wu]rðe spus, ‘þe rihte luuieð þe.’ Þeo beoð rihte þe 5 l[i]uieð efter riwle. Ant 3e, mine leoue sustren, habbe[ð] moni dei icrauet on me [e]fter ri[wl]e. 6 Monie cunne riwle beoð; ah twa beoð bimong alle þet Ich chulle speoken of þurh ower bone, 7 wið Godes grace.

    Translation | Text + Translation | Apparatus Criticus | Textual Commentary

    [3] 8 Þe an riwleð þe heorte1, ant makeð efne ant smeðe wiðute cnost ant dolc of woh inwit ant of 9 wrei3ende þe segge, ‘Her þu sunegest’, oþer ‘Þis nis nawt ibet 3et as wel as hit ahte.’ Þeos riwle 10 is eauer inwið ant rihteð þe heorte. Et hec est caritas quam describit Apostolus, de corde puro et consciencia bona et fide non ficta. Þeos riwle is chearite of schir heorte ant cleane inwit ant 11 treowe bileaue. Pretende, inquit Psalmista, misericordiam tuam scientibus te per fidem non fictam, et iusticiam tuam—id est, uite rectitudinem—hiis qui recto sunt corde—qui scilicet omnes uoluntate suas dirigunt ad regulam diuine uoluntatis. Isti dicuntur boni anto[no]masice: Psalmista: Benefac, Domine, bonis et rectis corde. Isti dicitur ut glorientur—testimonio uidelicet bone conscientie: Gloriamini, omnes recti corde, quos scilicet rectificauit regula illa supprema rectificans omnia, de qua Augustinus: Nichil petendum preter regulam magisterii, et Apostolus: Omnes in eadem regula permaneamus.

  7. ktschwarz says

    That’s great, thanks for the tip! So it isn’t permanently damaged, that’s a relief. The repair isn’t always perfect; on the Booklist page there are a few scattered problems like “Medium Ćvum” (Ævum) or “Bibliothčque Nationale”. But it’s close enough to be going on with.

  8. ktschwarz says

    After following some footnotes from the online version’s textual commentary: the answer to “when did Ancrene Riwle go out of fashion” seems to be 1976, when E.J. Dobson published The Origins of Ancrene Wisse. Dobson pointed out that none of the manuscripts bear the Riwle title; it was a back-translation into Middle English of Regula Anachoritarum, “which in its turn seems to have been a librarian’s title”.

    Only one manuscript, Corpus Christi MS 402, has what seems to be a title: “her biginneð Ancrene Wisse”. Dobson says there was a convention of calling that manuscript Ancrene Wisse and all the other witnesses Ancrene Riwle; Tolkien was using that convention in 1929, since his article was specifically about the language used in that manuscript. But Dobson says the convention is “arbitrary and misleading”, and they should all just be called Wisse.

    However, the OED has not yet changed its citation form, and still uses Ancrene Riwle as the quotation title. It’s their 65th most frequently quoted source, with a total of 4475 quotations, 950 as the first evidence of a word.

    Tolkien’s essay is itself cited in the OED, as the first use of “AB language”, the name Tolkien coined for the West Midlands dialect of the manuscript.

  9. the answer to “when did Ancrene Riwle go out of fashion” seems to be 1976

    Thanks, my curiosity is finally satisfied! And that fits very well with my sense of how it changed.

  10. Rodger C says

    In my 1960 Britannica, article “English Literature,” Wrenn (no doubt a while before 1960) calls it Ancrene Wisse and then says: “As a result of the fact that only a later version has been printed in full, it is better known by the title given to it by the editor of this edition, Ancren Riwle; but it is only in the earlier version of the Corpus Christi Cambridge manuscript that its literary qualities are fully to be appreciated.”

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