1. H. Sally Thompson, Women Religious; The Founding of English Nunneries after the Norman Conquest, Oxford, 1991, pp.7-15.

  2. Ibid. pp.13-15.

  3. For the lectio divina see Chapter 48 of the Rule ('De opera manuum cotidiano'). Texts and translations are given at

  4. Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, ' "Reading is Good Prayer"; Recent Research on Female Reading Communities', Analytical Survey 5, in New Medieval Literatures, Vol. V, 2002, pp.229-297, at p.263.

  5. N.R. Ker, Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 3, 2nd. edn., London, 1969; and Ker and A.G. Watson, Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: Supplement to the Second Edition, R.H.S. Guides and Handbooks, 15, London, 1987.

  6. David N. Bell, What Nuns Read; Books and Libraries in Medieval English Nunneries, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1995.

  7. Wogan-Browne, op. cit., p.250.

  8. For the mid-twelfth-century Durham library catalogue see Catalogi Veteres Librorum Ecclesie Cathedralis Dunelm, ed. B.B., Surtees Society 7, 1838.

  9. The Rievaulx catalogue was printed by A. Hoste, Bibliotheca Aelrediana, Instrumenta Patristica 2, 1962, pp.150-76, and by M.R. James, Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Jesus College, Cambridge, Cambridge, 1895. For this, see also D. Bell, ed., The Libraries of the Cistercians, Gilbertines and Premonstratensians, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 3, London, 1992. The twelfth-century library-catalogue of Whitby is printed in Cartularium Abbathiae de Whitby, I, ed. J.C. Atkinson, Surtees Society 64, 1878, p.341.

  10. For discussion of the Durham, Cistercian and Whitby catalogues see A.E. Lawrence-Mathers, Manuscripts in Northumbria in the 11th and 12th Centuries, Woodbridge, 2003.

  11. The catalogue, and other evidence, for Syon are fully discussed by Bell in What Nuns Read.

  12. Wogan-Browne, op. cit., p.251.

  13. The Durham records of the miracles of St Cuthbert preserve the story of Robert of St Martin, a former knight who became a novice at Durham in the twelfth century. He was so overwhelmed by trying to memorise liturgical material and learn Latin that he threw his book at the saint's shrine in disgust. See J. Raine, ed., Reginaldi monachi Dunelmensis libellus de admirandis beati Cuthberti virtutibus quae novellis patratae sunt temporibus, Surtees Society, 1, 1835, pp.158-60.

  14. Probably the best introduction to this subject is F.P. Pickering, 'The Calendar Pages of Medieval Service Books', Reading Medieval Studies, Monograph No. 1, Reading, 1980.

  15. More detailed comments on hands and scripts are given in Ker, Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon, Oxford, 1959, p.xix, n.2.

  16. See: A. Schroer, Der Winteney-Version der Regula S. Benedicti, Halle, 1888; revised edn. M. Gretsch, Tubingen, 1978. Frank Henderson's Website on 'Feminine Versions of the Rule of St Benedict' is at

  17. The basis of all later martyrologies was the Jeromian Martyrology, wrongly attributed to St Jerome, which has entries for each day of the year. That of Bede is more selective, but adds information from a range of sources to fill out the stories of the saints included. This version remained very popular and was widely copied, but was also frequently edited, interpolated and added to, to produce versions tailored to the requirements of individual houses.

  18. Alternative definitions and calculations for the saltus lunae are possible. See Pickering, op. cit., p.17, and E.G. Richards, Mapping Time; the Calendar and its History, Oxford, 2nd. edn., 1999, p.355.

  19. See Janet Burton, 'The foundation of the British Cistercian houses', in Norton and Park, eds., Cistercian Art and Architecture in the British Isles, Cambridge, 1986, at pp.24-5.

  20. See D. Knowles and R.N. Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses, England and Wales, 2nd. edn., London, 1971. For discussion of Wintney see Thompson, Women Religious, pp.108-9 and 163. The hostility of the Cistercians to accepting communities of women is demonstrated by Thompson in her 'The problem of the Cistercian nuns in the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries', in D. Baker, ed., Medieval Women; Studies in Church History, Subsidia, 1, Oxford, 1978, pp.227-252.

  21. Thompson, 'Cistercian Nuns' at pp.227-8.

  22. Thompson, Women Religious, pp.108-9.

  23. Ibid. and p.163.

  24. See the chapter 'Quos libros non licet habere diversos' of the Cistercian Capitula of 1098-c1100, and Carta Caritatis Prior, III, printed in Norton and Park, Cistercian Art and Architecture, p.319; (a further list is given on p.321).

  25. All these names are commemorated in the Obituary Calendar, and are discussed by Thompson, loc. Cit..