The Capital’s Charterhouses and the Record of English Carthusianism
Papers in Mediaeval Studies 36 • xvi, 300 pp. + 23 colour plates • ISBN 978-0-88844-836-1 • Cloth • $95.00
This volume offers a substantial and versatile contribution to the history and culture of the late-medieval Carthusians in England. The nine essays presented here focus primarily on the double charterhouses built on the outskirts of London, at Smithfield and Sheen. Syon Abbey, the Bridgettine house which stood a short distance from Sheen, and was founded at the same time, is also drawn into the conversation because of its sympathetic and practical links to the Carthusians. Particular attention is paid to the London Charterhouse. This institution is revaluated here as an engineered and ornamented structure, a sanctuary nourished by books and texts, a beacon of religion, a theatre of devotion and political manoeuvres and, in the wake of its dissolution, both a dwelling-place for affluent citizenry and a lieu de mémoire for the English Carthusians in exile.