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  • Mary Ward und ihre Gründung. Die Quellentexte bis 1645, and: Mary Ward (1585–1645): A Briefe Relation . . . with Autobiographical Fragments and a Selection of Letters
Mary Ward und ihre Gründung. Die Quellentexte bis 1645. Edited by Ursula Dirmeier, C.J. 4 vols. [Corpus Catholicorum, Vols. 45–48.] (Münster: Aschendorff. 2008. Pp. viii, 768; vi, 658; vi, 559; vi, 304. €89,00, 79,00, 69,00, 42,00; €224,00 for all four. Vol. 1, ISBN 978-3-402-03459-0; vol. 2, 978-3-402-03460-6; vol. 3, 978-3-402-03461-3; vol. 4, 978-3-402-03462-0.)
Mary Ward (1585–1645): A Briefe Relation... with Autobiographical Fragments and a Selection of Letters. Edited by Christina Kenworthy- Brown, C.J. [Catholic Record Society Publications: Records Series,Vol. 81.] (Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer. 2008. Pp. xxii, 175. $90.00. ISBN 978-0-902-83224-4.)

Ursula Dirmeier's four-volume scholarly edition of primary-source texts by and pertaining to Mary Ward (1585–1645) is an exemplary accomplishment. Most of these texts have not been published previously and thus appear here for the first time to a wider scholarly public. Dirmeier modestly notes (p. 1:7) that this edition should be regarded as the starting point for more detailed study of Ward's work.

The introduction (at the beginning of volume 1) consists of four parts. Part 1 is devoted to a short biographical note on Ward. Part 2 pertains to the survival (and destruction) of Ward's writings in the centuries following her death. Here it is noted that ecclesiastical authorities intentionally destroyed large numbers of writings by—and documents pertaining to—Ward between 1749 and 1868, and that the bulk of Ward's writings that survived were safely stored in Munich and are now preserved in the archive of the Mary Ward Foundation in Munich (Nymphenburg).

The role of historical biographies (especially two that were published in 1732 and 1885, respectively) and of more recent scholarship in helping to preserve writings by and documents pertaining to Ward is discussed; in this regard, the role of successful efforts (commencing in the final quarter of the nineteenth century) to reverse prior ecclesiastical condemnations of Ward's legacy is also noted. Part 3 of the introduction lists the principal collections that house the texts reproduced in this four-volume edition; the organization of the texts within this edition also is briefly explained. Part 4 discusses the edition's editorial principles, including attention to original punctuation and capitalization in the texts and textual variants. [End Page 145]

The texts contained in volumes 1 through 4 are organized into fourteen sections (I–XIV).Within sections 1I through XII, these texts are arranged in chronological order and ordered sequentially (numbers 1 through 1530). In volume 1, section I is devoted to the extant autographical fragments by Ward. Texts follow that document her family history from 1472 to 1606 (section II); her years (1606–09) with the Order of the Poor Clares (section III); her first Foundation (1610–16) at Saint-Omer (section IV); and the subsequent establishment of Foundations (1616–21) in Liège, Cologne, and Trier (section V). Volume 1 concludes with section VI, which contains texts pertaining to Ward's initial petitions for papal approval and nascent opposition thereto (1621–23).

Volume 2 (sections VII,VIII, and IX) document her additional Foundations (1623–24, 1627-28) and the gradual closure of her Foundations (beginning in 1624) as decreed by the Propaganda Fide. In volume 3, sections X, XI, and XIII pertain to the final fifteen years of Ward's life (1630–45), including the banning of her Foundations, her brief imprisonment (in 1631), and her subsequent work with her companions (as laypeople) in Italy, Liège, and England. Volume 13 concludes with a short section (XIII, nos. 1531 through 1536) of texts that cannot be dated at this time.

The first half of volume 4 (pp. 1–145) contains two early biographical texts written in English that are devoted to Ward (1:1–3, by Barbara Ward); 2:4–37, 50–99, by Mary Poyntz) and an Italian-language adaptation of the English-language text by Poyntz (pp. 100–45). These biographical texts are followed (pp. 147–250) by indices of persons and topics, and by a complete listing of the library/archive locations (with call numbers/shelf marks) for the documents reproduced in these four volumes and by a list of all published literature that has been utilized. Volume 4 concludes (pp. 251–304) with a set of very useful appendices, which include genealogical tables (pp. 262–80), a list of Ward's companions (pp. 281–89), and the reproduction of the texts (pp. 296–304) that accompany the fifty panels of the seventeenth-century Painted Life of Mary Ward.

The texts (numbers 1 through 1536) contained in these four volumes are written in English, French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. A wide range of primary-source documents fall within the scope of these texts, including personal correspondence by Ward and her companions, correspondence written by ecclesiastical and secular authorities, a curriculum plan (no. 756), financial accounts (e.g., nos. 725, 791), and (other) official documents (e.g., nos. 141, 907, 1137, 1312, 1319). Together with each text, a summary (varying in length and complexity as appropriate) of its content is included; as warranted, footnotes (e.g., nos. 100, 216, 723, 992) and/or annotations (e.g., nos. 212, 488) are appended.

Only two suggestions can made here. First, a brief introduction to the biographical texts contained in volume 4, section XIV would have been helpful. [End Page 146] Second, the table of contents to volume 4 might have included a complete listing of the very useful "Overviews" (Übersichten, pp. 251–66) within the appendices. Yet these two suggestions are by no means intended to detract from the extraordinary value and quality of this four-volume edition of works by and pertaining to Ward. It will be useful to researchers working on Reformation-era history, the history of Catholicism, and women's studies for decades to come. It deserves a place in most research libraries and could serve as a very useful model for critical editions of texts originating from this period.

Christina Kenworthy-Browne's English-language edition and selection of texts by Ward serve as an excellent companion to Dirmeier's four-volume edition of her writings; Kenworthy-Browne has utilized some of the texts and annotations contained in Dirmeier's edition (as noted in the acknowledgments, p. vii). The texts reproduced here are organized into three sections: (1) Poyntz's English-language biography of Mary Ward (pp. 1–102); (2) six autographical fragments by Ward (encompassing the years 1585 through 1609, pp. 103–40); and (3) six letters (five by Ward and one by Poyntz) written between 1619 and 1645 (pp. 141–61). Especially valuable are the explanatory descriptions, footnotes, and other scholarly annotations that appear (where/as appropriate) together with the texts.

The introduction to this edition begins with a short biography of Ward (pp. xi–xiii) followed by a brief history of her Foundation (pp. xiv–xv).Texts included in this edition are then discussed, with more extensive attention (pp. xvi–xxi, xxii) given to Poyntz's English-language biography. Brief comments on editorial policy (pp. xxi–xxii) are also included. Following the texts are a very useful timeline for Ward's life (pp. 163–66) and a select bibliography (pp. 167–69) as well as indices of people (pp. 181–83) and places (pp. 184–85). This edition includes eleven excellent illustrations, which include those placed on the dust jacket, on the frontispiece, and between pages 74 and 75. Kenworthy-Browne's English-language edition of works by Ward will be useful for courses and instructional segments on Reformation-era and early-modern history, women's history, church history, and English history. It deserves a place in undergraduate-level libraries as well as in many libraries serving secondary school students.

Joseph S. Freedman
Alabama State University

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