Manuscripts and Special Collections

Fragment of an English Life of St Zita (WLC/LM/37)

WLC/LM/37, first side

English, c.1450-1475. 1 f

This is a single paper leaf which is the only surviving evidence of a medieval English vernacular translation of the life of the Italian St Zita of Lucca, Italy (d. 1272), who was venerated by housewives and servants, and whose cult was introduced into England, particularly in the fifteenth century. This version is a fairly direct translation from the standard Latin biography of the saint.

Dating is based on the most recent catalogue description: middle or third quarter of the 15th century (Reference: The Wollaton Medieval Manuscripts)

Image shows first side only.

View catalogue record

View zoomable images of both sides of WLC/LM/37, together with a transcription and translation of the text, on our Wives, Widows and Wimples online learning resource.


Further Reading

  • Thorlac Turville-Petre, ‘A Middle English Life of St Zita’, Nottingham Medieval Studies, 35 (1991), 102-5.
  • Thorlac Turville-Petre and Dorothy Johnston, Image & Text: Medieval Manuscripts at the University of Nottingham (Nottingham: Djanogly Art Gallery, University of Nottingham Arts Centre, 1996), p. 7.
  • Catalogue description by R. Hanna, in Ralph Hanna and Thorlac Turville-Petre (eds), The Wollaton Medieval Manuscripts: Texts, Owners and Readers (Boydell and Brewer, 2010)
Next page: WLC/LM/38

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