Saturday, January 18, 2014

Jennifer N. Brown (Associate Professor of English and World Literature, Marymount Manhattan College)
An English Spirituality in an Italian Mystic: William Flete and Catherine of Siena
February 7, 2014
English Studies Conference Room of the Graduate Center, CUNY (room 4406)

A wine and cheese reception will follow the presentation and question time.

William Flete, the English Augustinian Friar who left English shores for a more austere life style in Siena, is mostly remembered for his Remedies Against Temptation, a text that was frequently misattributed to Richard Rolle or Walter Hilton by his contemporaries. The text appears to have been written before he left England, and does not find its way into continental sources, surviving only in English manuscripts both in Latin and in translation. However, Flete becomes an important follower of and influence on Catherine of Siena whom he meets in Italy. Part confessor, part famiglia, Flete's influence on Catherine can be read both explicitly in and implicitly between the lines of her major mystical text, The Dialogue and the excerpt from Flete's own transcription of one of Catherine's visions entitled "The Cleanness of Sowle." This paper will look at Flete's influence on Catherine's writing to show how Flete's brand of English spirituality gets absorbed by Catherine and then come back to England when her own texts get translated into Middle English