I first came across John of Fécamp’s name in a footnote in the summer of 2009; since then, I have benefited from a tremendous amount of support for this project. Margot Fassler, Denys Turner, and Anders Winroth were there for the initial discovery, and helped me when this project was in its infancy. Susan Boynton, Fiona Griffiths, and particularly Paul Freedman provided essential advice as this project grew from adolescence into adulthood. Alongside Susan, several early mentors have rooted for me from the sidelines: I thank Carmela Franklin, Joel Kaye, Patricia Dailey, Consuelo Dutschke, Nancy Wu, Jennifer Harris, and Isabelle Cochelin for their encouragement and continued interest and investment in my scholarly growth.

I spent large parts of 2010, 2012, and 2013 performing research in Europe with the support of a Fulbright grant to France; an Etienne Gilson Dissertation Grant from the Medieval Academy of America; a John B. and Theta H. Wolf Travel Grant from the Society for French Historical Studies; an Elizabeth Ann Bogert Fund for the Study and Practice of Christian Mysticism, and travel grants from Medium Aevum, the National Organization for Italian American Women, the Yale MacMillan Center, and the PSC-CUNY Research Fund. I would like to thank the librarians and archivists at the Archives départementales in Rouen and Calvados, the Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes in Paris, the Médiathèque de Metz, the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, the Stiftsbibliothek Zwettl, the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, the Burgerbibliothek in Bern, the Bibliothèque universitaire de médecine in Montpellier, the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna, the Cathedral Library in Salisbury, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich, the Cambridge University Library, the Fitzwilliam Museum Library, and the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, MD. Extra-special thanks to the librarians at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (especially Charlotte Denoël) and the Bibliothèque municipale de Rouen (especially Brigitte Quignard and Claudine Brabetz), where I spent most of my days; and to Sébastien Roncin, archivist at the Palais Bénédictine in Fécamp. Florence Leclerc and especially Azélina Jaboulet-Vercherre helped me with the uniquely formal style of correspondence required to communicate with foreign libraries and scholars. Back home, Sue Roberts, Emily Honing, and Lidia Uziel at the Yale University Library and Michael Carter at The Cloisters Library purchased books or microfilms that I requested, and the Interlibrary Loan Department at the Brooklyn College Library procured articles and books that I needed in record time and in great quantities. Last, but by no means least, I’d like to thank the series editors of Artes Liberales; the team at Manchester University Press; the anonymous readers of my manuscript; my copy editor Christopher Feeney; Zeba Talkhani for spearheading the book’s production; and Emma Brennan, Thomas McCarthy, Alun Richards, and Meredith Carroll for shepherding this project to its conclusion. An extra-special thanks to Thomas, who went above and beyond the role of series editor and drew Map 1. Parts of Chapter 3 appeared as an article, ‘John of Fécamp and Affective Reform in Eleventh-Century Normandy’, in Anglo-Norman Studies 37 (June 2015): 161–79, here reprinted by permission of Boydell & Brewer.

Over the years, my work on Fécamp has benefited from the sound advice and expertise of many interlocutors. Many thanks for the questions and comments that I received from scholarly audiences at invited lectures, seminars, conferences, and colloquia at venues ranging from New York to Kalamazoo, Montréal to Ghent, Baltimore to Caen. Particular gratitude goes to Jonathan J. G. Alexander, François Avril, David Bates, Michaël Bloche, Katrin Brockhaus, Greg Bryda, Katie Bugyis, Sarah Ifft Decker, François Dolbeau, Cédric Giraud, Alexis Grélois, Catherine Letouzey, Jacques Le Maho, Carolyn Marino Malone, Clare Monagle, Laurent Morelle, Karl Morrison, Michel Parisse, Peter Potter, Cassandra Potts, Diane Reilly, Greg Roberts, Edward Schoolman, Ourdia Siab, Tjamke Snijders, David Spear, Patricia Stirnemann, Lucile Tran-Duc, Steven Vanderputten, Anne Wagner, and Teresa Webber, who all pointed me towards sources, helped me work out ideas, and made necessary introductions. Marie-Thérèse Gousset visited me weekly in the Salle des Manuscrits at the Richelieu site of the Bibliothèque nationale in 2012 – without her substantial aid, encouragement, and advice, this book would not have been possible. Marcus Elder looked over my Latin translations and provided learned tweaks and sage advice. Monique Peyrafort and especially Stéphane Lecouteux spent hours and hours with me gleefully making connections between the library of Fécamp, the network of Norman monasteries, and the ideas of John – our conversations have taught me what scholarly community can be. Jean-François Cottier, Véronique Gazeau, Fiona Griffiths, Liesbeth van Houts, Barbara Rosenwein, and especially Piroska Nagy have been beyond generous with their time, energy, enthusiasm, and support for the project and my career: I thank each of them with all my heart.

For the last six years, I have been fortunate enough to call Brooklyn College (CUNY) my home. New Faculty Release Time, several PSC-CUNY Research Fund Awards, Mini-Grants from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, a Whiting Award for Teaching Excellence, and stipends from the Department of History have given me the time, research assistance, and subvention funds needed to complete this book manuscript. But more than these, the debts of gratitude that I owe to my colleagues at Brooklyn College is tremendous. First thanks go to my department chairs over the years, David Troyansky, Christopher Ebert, and Gunja SenGupta, whose advice, shelter, and support has been unflagging. Anne Ciarlo and Lorraine Greenfield have been supportive and resourceful beyond imagining. The collegiality of my fellow historians at Brooklyn College, and that of Brigid O’Keeffe, Karen Stern, and Jocelyn Wills in particular, has nourished me on a regular basis: to them all I am deeply appreciative. An extra-special thanks goes to the incredible faculty in the Late Antique-Medieval-Early Modern (LAMEM) reading group at Brooklyn College, especially Andrew Arlig, Jennifer Ball, David Brodsky, Bilal Ibrahim, Nicola Masciandaro, Andy Meyer, and Karl Steel, whose company I am so honoured to be keeping. To my colleagues, mentors, and academic friends around (or once around) NYC, especially Susan Boynton, Peggy Brown, Bob Davis, Meredith Fluke Davis, Jay Diehl, Thomas Dodman, Julia Fawcett, Arnold Franklin, Fiona Griffiths, Sara Lipton, Sara McDougall, Christia Mercer, Sarah Novacich, Janine Peterson, Ellen Rentz, Christine Sciacca, Neslihan Şenocak, Andrew Romig, and Abigail Zitin: thank you so much for your time, truth, encouragement, humour, and advocacy. A Kurz Research Assistantship for my student Laurence Bond helped me to complete the research required for Chapter 4, and Laurence’s enthusiasm for things medieval reminded me why I got into all of this in the first place. Finally, the brilliance and wonder of my Brooklyn College students has brought me a joy that I never thought I’d find in the halls of academia; their commitment to learning fills my soul, grants me perspective, and keeps me going daily: this book, in part, is for them.

This book was born with a tremendous amount of personal, intellectual, emotional, and practical support. I am privileged to have been able to have Laura Avelar, Valentina ‘Titi’ Ramos, John ‘Papa’ Gidwitz, Linda ‘Gaga’ Boyd, and especially Guadalupe ‘O-O’ Montiel, among others, to care for my daughter so that my husband and I could work. Inge Bloom and especially Lisa Weiser helped me wrestle with thoughts that got in the way of my progress. Treasured non-medievalist friends and family travelled with me to monasteries, tolerated my visits to museums and discussions of religious arcana, forced me to see the glass as half-full when I could not, and helped me in general to take myself less seriously: special shout-outs go to Nicole Bryant, Julia Kelly and Phil Coakley, Brandon Woolf and Tina Petereit, Zachary and Pai Pai Gidwitz, Bill Fertik, and Julian Mancia; and extra-special hugs are for Raquel Otheguy and John Pierpont. The model of M. Danielle Savasta (the first college degree – from CUNY – and the first PhD in my Italian immigrant family), and the love of Leela Savasta, Rose and Joe Savasta, Leonard and Lucille Mancia and my extended family has guided me through this process, both in presence and in spirit. Patricia Lewy’s determined support, playful spirit, intellectual engagement, grandmothering, and editing prowess has been essential. John and Linda Mancia planted the academic seedlings that bore fruit in my career, and their model, their teaching, and their love has provided the grounding and support that has been key to my success: it is only now that I am a parent that I can truly appreciate all they have given to me. Ellie Rose’s arrival transformed my life and gave this project fuel in unexpected ways, allowing me to grow in confidence and to learn to enjoy the writing process; I look forward to the day when I can share ‘stories’ of the medieval world with her, and hear what she has to say about them.

A huge debt of gratitude is due to my husband, Adam Gidwitz. I met Adam in Paul Strohm’s Chaucer seminar at Columbia in fall 2003. I had anticipated taking the course for a whole year in advance, and had gotten there early on the first day to get a seat right up front; Adam stumbled into the classroom late and on a whim, looking to fulfil his English major’s medieval requirement. Our relationship endured his getting an A+ in that class (while I got an A−), and the medieval world has made us partners in unexpected ways for the last fifteen years. With him as my travel companion, I have made historical discoveries, braved historical archives, journeyed to far-flung places, and gone on medieval scavenger hunts. With the help of his brilliance, interlocution, listening, and editing, I have grown as a writer, a thinker, and a person. His belief in this project, and in me, has allowed me to get this far – I am so profoundly thankful for him.

I have been lucky enough to have had the support and inspiration of so many wonderful teachers and mentors over the years. But, at the end of the day, it was the presence of women – mentors, teachers, idols, friends, colleagues – that gave me the strength I needed to keep going with my larger academic project. In their generosity, experience, and encouragement, they spoke my language and genuinely nurtured the confidence I needed to find myself as a scholar. I am thankful for their time, their stories, their advocacy, their path-breaking, and their reassurance, and I look forward to fighting alongside them to make our future world as filled with the voices of women as it possibly can be.

Lauren Mancia

Brooklyn, New York

September 2018

Note on translations and editions

The English translations contained herein are my own unless otherwise noted. My translations of the chief work examined here, John of Fécamp’s Confessio theologica, are taken from the Latin edition of the CT cited in the list of abbreviations, below, unless otherwise indicated. All biblical quotations in English are taken from the Douay-Rheims translation of the Bible; biblical quotations in Latin are taken from the Vulgate edition of the Bible; and the Psalm numbering system used in this book is that of the Vulgate. All quotations from Augustine’s Confessions are taken from the edition and translation by Henry Chadwick (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991); all quotations from Anselm of Canterbury’s Prayers and Meditations are taken from the edition and translation by Benedicta Ward (New York: Penguin, 1973).



Anselm of Canterbury, The Prayers and Meditations of Saint Anselm with the Proslogion, trans. Benedicta Ward (New York: Penguin, 1973)


Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis, 2 vols (Brussels, 1898–1901), with supplements in 1911 and 1986


Bibliothèque municipale


Bibliothèque nationale de France


David Chadd (ed.), The Ordinal of the Abbey of the Holy Trinity Fécamp (Fécamp, Musée de la Bénédictine, Ms 186), 2 vols (London: Henry Bradshaw Society, 1999); edited from Fécamp, Musée Bénédictine, ms. 186


Confessio theologica text from Jean Leclercq and Jean-Paul Bonnes (eds), Un maître de la vie spirituelle au XIe siècle: Jean de Fécamp (Paris: Vrin, 1946)


Marie Fauroux, Recueil des actes des ducs de Normandie (911–1066) (Caen: Société d’Impressions CARON, 1961)


Véronique Gazeau, Normannia monastica: Prosopographie des abbés bénédictines (Caen: CRAHM, 2007)


Rodulfus Glaber, Rodulfi Glabri opera, trans. John France and Paul Reynolds (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989)


Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Hanover, 1826– )


Gregory the Great’s Moralia in Job


Geneviève Nortier, Les bibliothèques médiévales des abbayes bénédictines de Normandie (Paris: Paul Lethielleux, 1971)


Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, ms. lat.


Patrologia cursus completus, series graeca, ed. Jacques-Paul Migne, 161 vols (Paris, 1857–66)


Patrologia cursus completus, series latina, ed. Jacques-Paul Migne, 221 vols (Paris, 1844–88)


Benedict of Nursia, Rule of St. Benedict, trans. Bruce Venarde (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011)


François Dolbeau, ‘Passion et résurrection du Christ, selon Gerbert, abbé de Saint-Wandrille (d. 1089)’, in Michael W. Herren, C.J. McDonough and Ross G. Arthur (eds), Latin Culture in the Eleventh Century (Turnhout: Brepols, 2002), pp. 223–49.


Zwettl, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod.

Map 1: John of Fécamp’s life, network, and influence

Map 2: A plan of the precinct of the monastery of Fécamp (including the ducal palace) as drawn in 1711



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