Goscelin''s ''Liber Confortatorius'' is extraordinary both as an example of high-medieval spiritual practice and as a record of a personal relationship
Written in about 1083 by the monk Goscelin to a protegee and personal friend, the recluse Eva, it takes up the tradition of St Jerome''s letters of spiritual guidance to women, and anticipates medieval advice literature for anchoresses. As a compendious treatise, it has much to tell us about the intellectual interests and preoccupations of religious people in the late eleventh century. As a personal document, it allows a fascinating and uncommonly intimate insight into the psychology of religious life and the relationships between men and women in the high middle ages. This English translation is presented here with notes and introduction. Monika Otter is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Dartmouth College.