Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. vii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-18

John Capgrave expected his Life of Saint Katherine to raise eyebrows. His fifteenth-century readers would have known all about the fourth-century virgin martyr, one of the best-loved saints of their...

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Prologue: The Discovery and Translation of Katherine’s Life

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pp. 19-23

Jesus Christ, crown of all maidens, a maiden gave birth to you and suckled you. According to our book, you lead the saints, those lilies that neither fade nor wilt. They look to you with all their hearts. Their love and pleasure are so firmly fixed on you...

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Book 1: Katherine’s Parentage, Upbringing, and Coronation

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pp. 25-44

Historians tell us that there was once a great king in Greece, lord of both Syria and Cyprus. Everything was done as he wished under his firm governance. This king was called Costus, a respected and widely renowned...

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Book 2: The Marriage Parliament

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pp. 45-69

When you see fair and bright sparks flicker in the air, you can reasonably infer that fire is near; experience tells you so. It’s obvious that sparks don’t fly to and fro unless there’s a fire. The same principle applies to this lady...

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Book 3: Katherine’s Conversion and Mystical Marriage

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pp. 71-97

Because nobody may do a good deed without being inspired by the Holy Ghost, who is freely sent to us from the omnipotent heavenly Father and from the Son, we think it best to commend our efforts to that Ghost...

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Book 4: Katherine’s Confrontation with Maxentius and Debate with Fifty Scholars

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pp. 99-140

People are like worker bees and drones:1 some labor while others idle. There are different attitudes and ranks. The good laborers are like the worker bees, especially those who, alighting on the flowers...

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Book 5: Katherine’s Martyrdom

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pp. 141-176

The time has now come—at last, after all our attention to other matters—to return and savor the sweetness of this pure virgin, of this delicious flower, which grew here on earth with five...

Notes to the Translation

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pp. 177-194

Appendix

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pp. 195-203