Clare of Assisi: Early Documents: The Lady provides new translations of Clare’s writings and related primary sources, revised and new introductions from earlier editions, as well as previously unpublished documents to chronicle the life of Saint Clare and her struggle with the papacy to live the Gospel in the way of Saint Francis.
The first section of The Lady presents Clare’s Letters, Testament, and Blessing. The second section includes the papal texts that prompted Clare to write her own Form of Life. The third section contains biographical writings about Clare beginning with Cardinal Hugolino’s 1220 letter and ending with the Legend of Saint Clare. The book concludes with a dossier of documents, many which are translated into English for the first time, from the papacies of Honorius III, Gregory IX, and Innocent IV. These texts open a window into the ecclesiastical interest in Clare as the model for religious movements of women both then and now. Also included in this section is a collection of Franciscan, ecclesial and legal documents which testify to the attention Clare engendered during the first half of the thirteenth century.
This volume takes a big step toward making Clare and her story accessible to a wide audience. General readers and those meeting Clare for the first time will be able to see her story unfold in its chronological sequence beginning with the voice of Clare in her writings, kept visible through Francis’s biographers, yet always subjected to the agenda of the papacy to standardize the way medieval women conducted their lives. Scholars are alerted to consult the current investigations of the European academic community and other key secondary sources which raise important scholarly questions about the authorship of writings traditionally ascribed to Clare, as well as Pope Gregory IX’s Order of Saint Damian and its relationship to Clare, Agnes of Prague, and their sisters
Poor Clares will want this volume because of its revised translations, especially for the text of her Letters andForm of Life, nuanced by the experience and insight of Frances Teresa Downing and Agnes Von Baer, both Poor Clares. Contemporary members of the Order of Saint Clare will be pleased to read English translations of Clare’s texts embellished by the inside wisdom of the enclosed life.
Regis Armstrong, OFM Cap, along with a host of contributors and consultants, brings lifetimes of Franciscan study and translation to produce this third edition of his previously published work on Clare. The Lady, volume II, will complete this final series of early primary sources about Clare and her sisters by including essential documents from the century following Clare’s death, beginning in 1263 with the juridical Rule of Urban II which replaces Clare’s 1253 Form of Life. These two resources will provide the bedrock for the study of Clare and the Poor Clares for decades to come.
New City Press has a special offer for their Franciscan friends on the recently published title Clare of Assisi: Early Documents: The Lady. The book retails for $29, but can be purchased for $25.95 during the month of June by calling 800-462-5980 and referring to the promotional code Lady Clare. NCP accepts MasterCard, Visa and checks. Shipping options include USPS and UPS.