THE object of the following unpretentious little volume is to give a simple and readable account in English of the life and writings of a remarkable Flemish Mystic of the fourteenth century, a contemporary of our own Walter Hilton. Though his memory and honour have never faded in his own native Belgium, and though France and Germany have vied with each other in spreading his teaching and singing his praises, the very name of Blessed John Ruysbroeck is practically unknown this side of the water. We are acquainted with only one small work in English dealing directly with the Saint or his work at all, viz. Reflections from the Mirror of Mystic, giving the briefest sketch of his life and some short extracts from his writings as translated from the French rendering of Ernest Hello. The original authorities for the history of Ruysbroeck are practically reduced to one, the biography by Henry Pomerius, a Canon Regular of Groenendael. It is certain that a disciple of John Ruysbroeck, John of Scoenhoven, also of Groenendael, who undertook the defence of Blessed John's Writings against Gerson, composed a short biography, but this ,vas embodied in the ,york of Pomerius, and thereby as a separate volume fell out of use and memory. Pomerius had Scoenhoven's book to work upon, and some of Ruysbroeck's contemporaries were still living at Groenendael when he composed his biography there. The brief references by the Venerable Thomas a Kempis in his Vita Gerardi magni are likewise of great interest and intrinsic worth.
Dom Vincent Scully CRL, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1496002202, ISBN 13: 9781496002204