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326book reviews tory ..." (p. 231). This is one of the many topics dealt with in this exceUent book which leaves the reader anxious to find out more. Bernard Hamilton University ofNottingham Runaway Religious in Medieval England, c. 1240-1540. By E Donald Logan. (NewYork: Cambridge University Press. 1996. Pp. xix, 301. $59.95.) ReUgious vows, like those of marriage, were for Ufe. Tb leave the monastery was to commit apostasy and be subject to excommunication; as Gerald ofWales expressed it, this was to leave the path of truth and salvation. Not surprisingly, therefore, comparatively few took such a step, accompanied as it was with uncertainty in this world and damnation in the next. The total population of medieval English religious is notoriously hard to gauge; the numbers of runaways can similarly never be more than impressionistic; yet, U Logan is right (and his figures are as convincing as any), no more than about 7% ofreligious were renegades . However, this figure masks considerable fluctuations, peaking (at over 16%) in the generation foUowing the Black Death, a statistic which sheds further light, and from a new perspective, on the monastic crisis of those years. Yet though these figures are lower than those of popular imagination they still constitute a minority of the discontented, who have only now found their historian. Moreover, at the same time we should not infer that 93% of religious were content in their vocation. Logan's analysis of the fugitives clearly demonstrates the tensions inherent in any monastic house, which might result either in apostasy or in suUen acceptance. Logan's magisterial study is a tour de force that nearly juxtaposes casestudies (which he analyzes to great effect) with more general contextualizations , whUe the inclusion of a register of all known apostates is an invaluable guide to further research. His survey begins in the mid-thirteen century, by which time records, papal, episcopal, and royal, are sufficiently rich to enable detaUed analysis, virtually all religious foundations in England had been made, and the codification of canon law on apostasy was secure.Yet to begin here is to enter in medias res and more could have certainly have been said to advantage about earlier runaways and more use made both of the twelfth-century canonists and later synodal legislation. Nevertheless, this study is to be most warmly welcomed as the first authoritative account of a much-neglected field; its findings must now be taken into account by aU scholars of monastic history. Brian Golding University ofSouthampton ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
p. 326
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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