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The thirteenth-century Ancrene Wisse is a guide for female recluses. Addressed to three young sisters of gentle birth, it teaches what truly good anchoresses should and should not do, offering in its examples a glimpse of the real life women had in England in the middle ages. It is also important for its evidence for the continuation of the Anglo-Saxon tradition of prose writing, being produced in the West Midlands where Old English writing conventions continued to develop even after the Norman conquest. The Companion addresses the cultural and historical background, the affiliations of the versions, genre, authorship and language; the various approaches also include a feminist reading of the text. Contributors: ROGER DAHOOD, RICHARD DANCE, A.S.G. EDWARDS, CATHERINE INNES-PARKER, BELLA MILLETT, CHRISTINA VON NOLCKEN, ELIZABETH ROBERTSON, ANNE SAVAGE, D.A. TROTTER, YOKO WADA, NICHOLAS WATSON.