"Victoria Smirnova has written the story of the pivotal exempla collection of the Middle Ages. By contrast to Caesarius' very long book of 300,000 words, her book is concise but comprehensive. She tells the fascinating story of exempla before and after Caesarius Dialogue and traces the book's Cistercian roots and reception by Cistercians and others from Caesarius' time to our own. For anyone interested in exempla, Cistercians, or Caesarius, this book is required reading."
Hugh Feiss, OSB
"Victoria Smirnova offers us a thorough, philologically accurate, and enjoyable history of Caesarius of Heisterbach, his stories, and their fortune from the twelfth century to the present day. Both an in-depth study of the Dialogus miraculorum and an introduction to Cistercian exemplary literature, Medieval Exempla in Transition is an outstanding work. Clearly written and meticulously researched, this volume will be a required reading for all scholars and students of the Cistercian world."
Stefano Mula, Middlebury College
"Victoria Smirnova’s fascinating and carefully researched study of the reception history of Caesarius of Heisterbach’s Dialogue on Miracles illustrates the myriad ways that Caesarius’s collection of stories captures the imagination of its readers. Smirnova tracks the communities who copied, printed, modified, interpreted, and translated Caesarius’s text, and she guides us through its manuscript and printed history from the thirteenth century to the present day. This is important reading for the study of monasticism and religious life but also for the investigation of medievalisms and the modern reuse of medieval texts."
Martha G Newman, Professor of History and Religious Studies, The University of Texas at Austin
"Smirnova's survey is erudite as well as illuminating."
Catholic Books Review
"Medieval Exempla in Transition is exemplary study of exemplary stories. Cistercian scholars and general readers are finally able to fully appreciate one of the most influential works of the Middle Ages, whose appeal spanned centuries and countries, with the help of Victoria Smirnova's thoughtful, enlightening, thorough study of its reception and fortune through the centuries."
American Benedictine Review