The life and writings of Richard Whitford
This study examines the writings of Richard Whitford, early sixteenth-century English Bridgettine Father and author of devotional literature. Since a canon of his writings has not yet been satisfactorily established, the study begins by examining all works attributed to Whitford and their claim to a place in the corpus of his writings. The appearance of Whitfordts name as self-acknowledged author within the text of a work and/or reference to the work in another work known for the above reason to be his are considered indisputable evidence of his authorship. Chapters 2 and 3 examine the salient characteristics of all works falling into this category. Chapter 4 looks at all other works attributed to Whitford and, based on the evidence provided by chapters 2 and 3, accepts or discounts his authorship of the works. Chapter 5 provides a physical description of most early printed editions of Whitford's writings and traces their history as printed books. A comparison of different editions of Whitford's works reveals that his thought remained conservative throughout his life but that he was constantly considering ways in which he might best convey his message to his audience. Chapter 6 is a detailed study of sources, such as contemporary writings, the Bible, the writings of the Church Fathers and the pagan writings of antiquity, used by Whitford in his works and the ways in which he used them. Chapter 7 examines Whitford's writings in the context of contemporary devotional literature. It will be seen in this chapter that they hold a peculiar place in the devotional literature of the early sixteenth century, not so much because of their content but because of their presentation. The appendix provides an edition of Syon Ms. 18, A looking glace for the religious-, quite possibly by Whitford and never previously edited.