My fifth Julian

Revelations:J SkinnerMy fifth Julian is the 1996 translation by John Skinner. The copy I have has the cover in the photo above, but more recent editions have a more abstract design. It is a translation into modern English using the 1993 Middle English edition by Dr. Marion Glasscoe.

I found it to be a very readable translation; the language is accessible yet preserves what I feel is Julian’s own voice. Some chapters are headed with a quote from the paragraphs to come; others are not. There are headings at the top of each right-hand page which makes it easier to glance through the book and find a particular passage. This translation retains some of the familiar, traditional language, e.g. ‘weal and woe’ and there is a glossary at the back of the book referencing the passage where the words first appear. There is no use of ‘thou’.

I liked the appearance of the text. The page is uncluttered and does not appear as dense as the Penguin Classic edition. There are some notations to the text, but they appear at the bottom of the page and do not intrude on a contemplative reading of the text. As it says on the back of the book:

‘The poetry and rhythmic structure of the original Middle-English text are respected. Julian’s earthy and direct style are rendered here for the first time in inclusive language, which gives it a continued relevance.’

I think this is a fair claim for this translation; I have previously given copies of the Penguin Classic as gifts, but having read this translation I feel that this is a better edition to give if anyone is interested in reading more than the edited highlights of Enfolded in Love.

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