La Disme de Penitanche by Jehan de Journi

Edited by Glynn Hesketh

Critical Texts 7

Modern Humanities Research Association

2 October 2006  •  216pp

ISBN: 0-947623-71-X (paperback)  •  RRP £10.99, $17.50, €13.99


Composed in Nicosia in 1288 by Jehan de Journi, an educated crusader knight, La Disme de Penitanche is a versified manual designed to help the laity prepare themselves for confession.

It is a fascinating mixture of the learned and the popular, drawing on university textbooks and scholarly methodology to paint an up-to-date picture of the academic approach to penance, but also employing popular elements such as the Three Enemies of Man (the World, the Flesh and the Devil), lively exempla, and proverbial expressions to present the Seven Deadly Sins to a wide audience. A concluding prayer catalogues many notable figures who were active in the eastern Mediterranean as the crusades drew to their close in the late 1280s, and the work also contains a hitherto largely unnoticed passage giving information about games and pastimes of the period.

Written in the Picard dialect, the manual offers many points of linguistic interest, phonological, morphological and lexical. It will appeal to students of history, cultural history, divinity, historical linguistics, dialectology, and medieval French literature. In this edition the text is accompanied by an introduction dealing with the manuscript, author, background and language, detailed explanatory notes, a glossary and an index of proper names.

Glynn Hesketh is a Senior Lecturer in French in the School of Language and Literature at the University of Aberdeen.


  • ‘Au total, on se trouve devant une production éminemment estimable, dont il faut féliciter l'auteur ... On voudrait qu'il en fût plus souvent ainsi.’ — Claude Thiry, Les Lettres Romanes 61.1/2, 2007, 154
  • ‘Students of vernacular penitential texts will welcome this edition, particularly as the editor provides extensive explanatory notes, interspersed with comments of linguistic interest.’ — Leslie C. Brook, Modern Language Review 103.2, 2008, 531 (full text online)
  • ‘[Hesketh's] edition of La Disme de Penitanche cannot but become a joy to read, a philologist's delight!’ — Max Walkley, New Zealand Journal of French Studies 29.1, 2008, 55

Bibliography entry:

Hesketh, Glynn (ed.), La Disme de Penitanche by Jehan de Journi, Critical Texts, 7 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2006)

First footnote reference: 35 La Disme de Penitanche by Jehan de Journi, ed. by Glynn Hesketh, Critical Texts, 7 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2006), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Hesketh, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Hesketh, Glynn (ed.). 2006. La Disme de Penitanche by Jehan de Journi, Critical Texts, 7 (Cambridge: MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Hesketh 2006: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Hesketh 2006: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

This title is distributed on behalf of MHRA by Ingram’s. Booksellers and libraries can order direct from Ingram by setting up a free ipage® Account: click here for more.

Permanent link to this title: