Nicholas Love: "The Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ" is an important work of late medieval English vernacular theology, and is made available here in a fully critical modern edition, including notes and glossary. The volume is not merely a revision of Michael Sargent's 1992 Garland best-text edition, now out of print, but a new and completely critical edition that uses the Garland volume only as its starting-point. Although based on the same manuscript, and containing some of the same introductory material, this edition includes the results of a complete collation of the 71 known surviving manuscripts and early prints. This collation demonstrates that the text exists in two separate authorial versions, of which the first, which incorporated a separate, independent translation of the Passion section, may not in the first instance have included the "Treatise on the Sacrament". The second version, on which the edition is based, is an authorial revision, undertaken, perhaps, after Love had met with Archbishop Arundel for approval of his text.
The introduction discusses the evidence for the process of composition of the text, and places Love's "Mirror", properly, at the centre of current scholarly discussion of the development of vernacular theology in late medieval England and the consequences of Arundel's anti-Lollard Lambeth Constitutions
Michael Sargent is Professor in the Department of English, Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He has published a number of books, including De Cella in Seculum: Religious and Secular Life and Devotion in Late Medieval England (Boydell & Brewer, 1989) and Nicholas Love at Waseda (Boydell & Brewer, 1997).