SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

Published Conference Proceedings - Paper
January 2010

'Syon Abbey as a Centre for Text Production'

Powell, S 2010, 'Syon Abbey as a Centre for Text Production', in: Gejrot, C & Risberg, S & Akestam, M (eds.), 'Saint Birgitta, Syon and Vadstena: Papers from a Symposiumm in Stockholm 4-6 October 2007', Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, Stockholm, Sweden, pp.50-67. Conference details: a Symposiumm in Stockholm 4-6 October 2007.

Abstract

The Birgittine abbey of Syon, the only Birgittine abbey founded in England, had a strong mission to relay pastoral and devotional material to the laity, a mission enjoined on her followers by the saint herself. This is evidenced in their commitment to preaching, but also in their liaison with the London printers for the publication of vernacular texts particularly favoured by the Birgittines. This liaison is well documented for the 1520s and 1530s, for example, in the printed works of the Syon brother, Richard Whytforde, in specific statements, and in a customized ‘Birgittine woodcut’ in printed texts. For the earlier period (from the introduction of printing to England in 1476 to the year 1519) there is only the evidence of Syon involvement in print through a variety of standard woodcuts, largely Images of Pity with a Birgittine (though not always English) provenance, and, in terms of authors, only two names, Simon Wynter and Thomas Betson, names which we perhaps know by chance rather than design. The present paper focusses on vernacular printed texts and falls into two parts: the first part investigates some of the evidence for Syon’s early relationship with print, and the second provides a brief overview of the last two decades of Syon’s existence.

Authors

SEEK Members

Editors:

Non-SEEK Editors

Sara Risberg

Claes Gejrot

Mia Akestam

Publication Details

Conference Proceedings
Powell, S ed. 2010, Saint Birgitta, Syon and Vadstena: Papers from a Symposiumm in Stockholm 4-6 October 2007, Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, Stockholm, Sweden, pp.50-67.

Conference Details
a Symposiumm in Stockholm 4-6 October 2007