This edition of The Scale of Perfection by English Augustinian Canon Walter Hilton represents a considerable advance on what has hitherto been available. The modern-language version by Rosemary Dorward is made from those maunscripts selected as the basis for the forthcoming Early English Text Society editions, and differs at a number of points from existing printed versions.
The introduction and theological notes by John P. H. Clark take account of the considerable progress which has been made in the last twenty years in the understanding of Hilton's life and milieu, and of his theological background. Hilton is considered in relation to Ricahrd Rolle, to The Cloud of Unknowing and to some of the turbulent religious movements of his day. Arising from this context, his powerful restatement of the church's traditional wisdom, addressed to those outside the cloister as well as within, is seen to speak to the needs of our own day as clearly as to those of the fourteenth century.