The Diplomat, the Trucheman and the Mystagogue

Forms of Belonging in Early Modern Jerusalem

in Journeys
Author: Wes Williams
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On 1 July 1592, his first morning in Jerusalem, Jean Du Blioul rose early so as not to miss the first of several ‘fine sermons’ given that day to the visiting pilgrims by the Guardian of the Holy Sepulchre. For the duration of the sermon, Du Blioul’s narrative, which he had begun some months earlier on leaving Besançon, takes on the voice of the Guardian; the listening pilgrim surrenders his narrative first person to the priest, a longer-term resident of the place and professional exponent of its significance. The sermon is consequently not so much recollected as preached anew in the text, its message directed at once to the small band of pilgrims gathered in Jerusalem and to the increasingly contentious and divided community of Christian readers back home. At the conclusion of the sermon, Du Blioul’s Guardian introduces the fresh company of pilgrims to yet another character, who will become the hero of the narrative as it develops, and the focus of the latter part of this discussion


The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing


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