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The Form of Perfect Living and Other Prose Treatises   By: (1290?-1349)

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Richard Rolle, a 14th-century English mystic, poet, and hermit, captivates readers once again with his profound collection of prose, entitled "The Form of Perfect Living and Other Prose Treatises." Rolle's work has long been celebrated for its spiritual depth and poetic elegance, and this volume is no exception.

The collection is divided into several treatises, each exploring different aspects of the spiritual journey. Rolle's prose is delicate yet powerful, pulling readers towards a deeper understanding of God and the self. His words resonate with a timeless wisdom, reminding us that the quest for spiritual perfection is ageless and universal.

One of the most remarkable features of this work is Rolle's ability to convey complex theological concepts in a simple and accessible manner. His ideas flow smoothly from one treatise to another, guiding readers through engaging discussions on topics such as solitude, purity of heart, and love for God. Rolle's clarity of thought and sincere devotion shine through his writing, making it an invaluable resource for spiritual seekers of all backgrounds.

Moreover, Rolle's prose is infused with a fervent sense of intimacy with the divine. As readers delve into his words, they are transported to the very heart and soul of the author's spiritual experience. Rolle's intimate and personal encounters with God invite readers to embark on their own inner journey, shedding light on the eternal truth that lies within each of us.

The themes explored in these treatises are as relevant today as they were in the 14th century. Rolle's musings on the importance of simplicity, selflessness, and surrender to God's will are timeless reminders in a contemporary world marked by materialism and self-centeredness. His words challenge readers to examine their own lives, urging them to seek a deeper, more meaningful existence.

"The Form of Perfect Living and Other Prose Treatises" is a beautifully crafted compilation that attests to Richard Rolle's profound spiritual insight and literary prowess. It serves as a guiding light for those who yearn for spiritual growth and a profound connection with the divine. Rolle's prose continues to inspire readers, transcending time and space to touch the hearts and minds of all who are open to its transformative power.

First Page:




Rendered into Modern English by Geraldine E. Hodgson, D.Litt., Lecturer in Education in the University of Bristol.

London: Thomas Baker, 72, Newman Street, W. 1910.

Printed By W. C. Hemmons, St. Stephen Street, Bristol.

"Love is a life, joining together the loving and the loved."

"Truth may be without love, but it cannot help without it."


( The Form of Perfect Living , ch. x.).


This book is not intended for those who are acquainted with Anglo Saxon and Middle English; but for those who care for the thought, specially the religious and devotional thought, of our forefathers. My one aim has been to make a portion of that thought accurately intelligible to modern readers, with the greatest possible saving of trouble to them. When I could use the old word or phrase, with certainty of its being understood, I have done so. When I could not, I have replaced it with the best modern equivalent I could find or invent. In extenuation of the occasional use of Rolle's expression, "by their lone," I may urge its expressiveness, the absence of an equivalent, and the fact that it may still be heard in remote places. Where possible, I have retained the archaic order of the original Text... Continue reading book >>

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