The Wooing of Our Lord and The Wooing Group Prayers
  • Publication Date: July 22, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781551113821 / 1551113821
  • 304 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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The Wooing of Our Lord and The Wooing Group Prayers

  • Publication Date: July 22, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781551113821 / 1551113821
  • 304 pages; 5½" x 8½"

The Wooing of Our Lord and the Wooing Group prayers occupy a key position in the history of English literature and the development of English religious devotion. Dating from the second quarter of the thirteenth century, they are among a group of texts written in English at a time when the language of literature and the court was Anglo-Norman French, and the language of church and state was Latin. The text for which this group is named, The Wooing of Our Lord is also a highly skilled composition, combining beautiful and poetic expression with a profound affective theology. Its first-person female narrator speaks directly to Christ, becoming the voice of the reader whom the text guides through a passionate meditation upon the magnitude of Christ’s love, his sufferings in his Passion, and the response of the individual soul.

Catherine Innes-Parker’s graceful new translation is paired with the original Middle English dialect in a facing-page format.


“This edition is a long awaited gift for scholars and students alike. Catherine Innes-Parker has produced an extremely fine volume that includes an edition of all the Wooing Group texts in the original, as well as a deft poetic translation. I know it will be frequently used in both my scholarship and my classes.” — Jennifer Brown, Marymount Manhattan College

“This edition is the first accessible and complete edition of the Wooing group, providing a valuable resource for both teaching and research. With its translations, it is suitable for undergraduates as well as senior scholars, while the introduction and notes provide a wealth of information about the background to The Wooing Group texts. This is an important edition that should draw further scholarly and student attention to the significance of these early vernacular devotional texts, which are largely expressed in a female voice.” — Medium Ævum

List of Abbreviations
A Note on the Text: Editorial Practice

Þe wohunge of ure lauerd / The Wooing of Our Lord

On god ureisun of ure lefdi / A Good Prayer to Our Lady

On wel swuðe god ureisun of god almihti / A Most Excellent Prayer to God Almighty

Þe oreisun of seinte Marie / A Prayer to Saint Mary

On lofsong of ure louerde / A Hymn to Our Lord

Appendix A: Þe oreisun of seinte marie: The Prayer to Saint Mary

Appendix B: Bono Oratio: A Good Prayer

Appendix C: Bonum Lectum: A Good Reading

Appendix D: The Passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ: A Vision of the Passion

Appendix E: Hypothetical Stemma Codicae of the Wooing Group


Catherine Innes-Parker is Professor of English at the University of Prince Edward Island.