BLESSED ANGELA OF FOLIGNO (1248-1309): extracts from the Liber beatae Angelae, in Latin, and JOHANNES VON KASTEL (fl.1399-1426): De adhaerendo Deo, in Latin, MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[England, early 16th century]
206 x 153mm. 90 leaves + i loose leaf: 1-68, 76, 8-108, 114, 128, contemporary ink foliation, ff.1-53: 25-28 lines written in a court hand in brown ink, ff.63-89: 20-25 lines written in a secretary hand in darker ink, in both sections between two verticals and two horizontals ruled in blind (slight staining and wear to some leaves). Contemporary vellum with contemporary title inked on lower cover, later title inked on upper cover, two fore-edge tabs (detached from spine, lacking two sewing bands, two holes in lower cover, first gathering detached).
1. Robyn Hodge: transcribed ff.63-89 and signed f.89; he also signed as Hodge reclusus, recluse or anchorite, on f.53 and was responsible for annotating ff.1-53 and for the foliation throughout the volume.
2. Walter Warren Seton (1882-1927): armorial bookplate inside upper cover, as Walter Seton of Abercorn, with the arms of Seton of Abercorn and his insignia as Knight of the Order of the Redeemer of Greece and of the Order of the Crown of Italy. A great-grandson of Sir Alexander Seton of Abercorn, 5th Baronet, Walter Seton was Lecturer in Scottish History at University College, London.
3. Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass.
Extracts from the Instructiones of Blessed Angela of Foligno ff.1-52v, with list of contents f.53; blanks ff.53v-62v; Johannes von Kastl, De adhaerendo Deo ff.63-89; blanks ff.89v-90v; loose leaf from another volume foliated 79, perhaps by Robyn Hodge, from a treatise in English on the monastic vow of obedience.
Although the illiterate Angela of Foligno dictated her Memoriales and Instructiones, which together were popularly known as The Book of Blessed Angela, she acquired the title of theologorum magistra, mistress of theologians. A visionary penitent, Angela lived a life of active charity as a member of the Third Order of St Francis: the Franciscans had much to do with the dissemination of her cult and writings through Europe. For her complete works, R. Guarnieri and P. Lachance, Angela da Foligno: Complete Works, 1993.
The De adhaerendo Deo was often, as here, attributed to Albertus Magnus and the text was included in Albertus Magnus, Opera omnia, vol.37, A. Borgnet ed., 1898. The authorship of Johannes von Kastl, however, is now generally accepted. Johannes's origins are obscure; he was a Benedictine and his name comes from the Abbey of Kastl in the bishopric of Eichstätt, of which he became prior in 1399. Kastl played a leading part in the Benedictine reform and Johannes's writings were part of the revived spirituality of the Order.
Both texts concern the individual's relationship to God, a suitable emphasis for a recluse like Robyn Hodge.