The Cistercian Order was born in Burgundy at the start of the twelfth century as a movement of radical renewal—an Order that survives to this day with the greater part of its written heritage preserved. This volume brings together a selection of its finest works, which speak powerfully across the centuries to modern readers. Writings by St Bernard of Clairvaux (c. 1090-1153)—including his letters, The Life of Malachy the Irishman, sermons on the Song of Songs and the sharply satirical Apologia for Abbot William—reveal him to be a highly individual and influential writer of the Middle Ages. Also included here are a charming description of Clairvaux, biographies of abbots and a series of exemplary stories, all drawing on the Scriptures to express intensely personal forms of monastic theology.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.