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Ownership Inscription, from the 'Ladder of Perfection" by Walter Hilton

Ownership Inscription, from the 'Ladder of Perfection

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1450

Shelfmark: Harley MS 2387

Item number: f.130v

Length: 21.1

Width: 13.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

A mystical strand of Christianity which emphasised personal, interior spirituality flourished in the late middle ages. Walter Hilton (died 1396) led the house of Augustinian canons at Thurgarton and was one of several influential English mystics. Described as a spiritual travel guide, his 'Ladder of Perfection" ('Scala Perfectionis') instructs in the destruction of vices and directs the soul's upward journey by contemplation of "the perfect love of God".

On a blank page near the end of the manuscript, an inscription, probably written by the monastery's librarian, identifies the book as belonging to the Brigittine monastery at Syon, "near Shene" (Sheen), located near Twickenham. Their house at Syon was the only Brigittine monastery in England.

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