Clarck Drieshen

IMS PG Researcher

Summary: Research on the textual transmission of visionary-devotional writings ("revelatory devotions") at late medieval female religious houses situated in England, the Low Countries and German-speaking areas



My research project advances and examines the hypothesis that late medieval religious women consciously employed the genre of visionary writing in order to authoritatively reform their own devotional cultures. Central to my study is the textual transmission of revelatory devotions—which can be seen as forming a devotional sub-genre of visionary literature—at and between late medieval female religious houses situated in both England, the Low Countries and German-speaking areas. I examine those texts (e.g. the Middle English A Revelation of Purgatory and the Middle Dutch Visioen ende exempel) in which divine authorities introduce instructions for prayers and meditations and the independent transmission of these instructions (e.g. The Revelation of the Fifteen Paternosters, The Revelation of the Hundred Paternosters, The Forty Little Cells and The Golden Litany) in hundreds of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century prayerbooks. With the extant manuscript evidence I aim to demonstrate that by designing, copying, reworking and collecting these revelatory devotions, religious women enabled themselves to implement new devotional regimes, regulating their communal lives and their interactions with the outside world. My research provides evidence that revelatory devotions were transmitted particularly between those convents that were influenced by monastic reform ideologies advocated by contemporary Carthusian monks, Observant Friars and members of the Devotio Moderna.


2012-present: Ph.D. research at the Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds 

2012: Research-assistantship in a project on urbanization and language standardization in late medieval and early modern England at Utrecht University  

2010: Research master in Medieval Studies at Utrecht University 

2007: Bachelor in History at Radboud University Nijmegen


With Dr. L.S. Chardonnens 'A Middle English Version of Saint Ursula's Prayer Instruction in Nijmegen, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS 194', Studies in Philology 110:4 (2013), 714-730.


2014: "The Devotional Functionality of Visionary Writings: The Medieval and Post-Medieval Transmission of Visionary Instructions for Prayers" - Cardiff University: Profitable and spedful to use: Medieval and Early Modern Prayer Conference

2014: "Employing Visionary Literature: English Nuns and Their Devotional Communities" - Glasgow University: Nuns Literacies: Medieval to Modern (History of Women Religious in Britain and Ireland)

2014: "Visionary Writings and Devotional Functionality: The Textual Transmission of The Revelation of the Hundred Paternosters" - University of Leeds: International Medieval Congress

2014:  "Visioensliteratuur in devotionele context: de transmissie en functionaliteit van laatmiddeleeuwse gebedsvisioenen" - Ruusbroec Society (Ruusbroecgenootschap), University of Antwerp: invited speaker in the lecture series Voorjaarslezingen

2014: "Visionary Recluses within Conventual Communities: Nuns Employing Anchoritic Prayers for the Harrowing of Purgatory" - Swansea University: Medieval Anchorites in their Communities' Conference 

2009: "The cult of St. Ursula in Late Medieval England" - University of Leeds: International Medieval Congress

2008: "Purgatorial landscapes in the Middle Dutch Walewein and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" - Bristol University: Congress for Arthurian Literature


2014: A scholarship from the Royal Historical Society for manuscript research at the Royal Library at Brussels  

2014: Research Grant for Doctoral Candidates and Young Academics and Scientists from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for manuscript research in various German and Swiss libraries


2013-2014: Tutoring in the second-year undergraduate module Historical Research Project (HIST2535) 

2013-2014: Seminar teaching in the first-year undergraduate module Medieval and Renaissance Europe (HIST1090)    


Dr. Emilia Jamroziak (School of History)

Dr. Catherine Batt (School of English)