About the book
Although there have been some recent overviews of religious houses and the relationship between the religious and the laity in the late eleventh to early fourteenth centuries, none has contained a really coherent theme. This volume offers an overarching theme which gives cohesion to the collection of essays: missed opportunities and disappointment. The efflorescence of foundations of religious houses in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in England offered the prospect of religious revitalization. Those opportunities are recounted and examined in detail. Ultimately, however, it all ended in disappointment as the religious failed to fulfill both their obligations and the expectations of them, so that the affective relation between the enclosed religious and the laity was eclipsed by the early fourteenth century.