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Mary of Nemmegen.

Ed. by Margaret M. Raftery, Medieval and Renaissance Texts, 5 (Leiden; New York: E. J. Brill, 1991). 85 pp.; 13 illustrations. ISBN 90-04-0922-8. Du. gu. 56. Mariken van Nieumeghen, printed at Antwerp c. 1515, is part prose, part dramatic verse, and contains a play-within-the-play in which the Virgin pleads for the souls of mankind. It may be derived from a prose version of the story, now lost. May of Nemmegen, an English translation which omits the inset play, was printed some three years later by another Antwerp printer, Jan van Doersborch; over one-third of his known output consisted of works in English. Mary may be translated from the lost prose version (which Raftery conjectures may have been another of Van Doersborch's productions) rather than the surviving mixed text. The story, which records with generous authenticating detail events that supposedly happened a generation or two earlier, recounts Mary's seduction by the Devil, her life of sin, her repentance after seeing the play, her exemplary penitence and her final forgiveness. Raftery's edition presents as faithful a version of the text as is 'commensurate with ease of reading', a twenty-page introduction, a commentary which concentrates on a comparison with the Dutch text, and reproductions of the thirteen woodcuts.
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Publication:Medium Aevum
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 1993
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