Translated by F. Sherwood Taylor
Prefatory / Biographical Note (p. 5)
‘Hugh of Saint Victor, eldest son of Conrad, Count of Blankenburg, was born in 1096 at Hartingham in Saxony. Much against the wishes of his parents he took the habit of the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine, and studied his master to such effect that, both as theologian and as writer, he merited his traditional title of alter Augustinus. He remained at the monastery of Hamerleve, near Halberstadt, until 1115, when he removed to the monastery of Saint Victor at Paris. He became head of the School of Saint Victor in 1133, and so remained until his death in . Hugh was one of the greatest spirits of his age, at once philosopher, mystic, and chief founder of the scholastic theology. This little treatise, Soliloquium de arrhâ animae, sent by him to his friends at Hamerleve, simple and beautiful as it is, contains the distillation of his acute psychology, profound philosophy, and lifelong prayer and contemplation. Eight centuries have scarcely aged it, for in it there is nothing corruptible.’
The Soul’s Betrothal-Gift can be downloaded gratis in a PDF edition.