Mass-book

Maroseika

Moderator
Russian
From Fuller's "The holy state" (1642):

What? (will some say) having a wood of widows of upright conversation, must you needs gather one crooked with superstition to be pat∣tern to all the rest? must Paula be their president? whose life was a very masse-book, so that if every point of popery were lost, they might be found in her practice.

The modern sense of "mass-book" is is a book, used most commonly by the laity, as an aid while attending Catholic Mass.
However I'm not sure grammar allows such reading: her life was very mass-book. Can it mean that her life was so many times described in various books or was very frequent subject of books?
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Note it says "whose life was a very masse-book . . . ". I think it means that her life could be 'read' as if it were a mass book. If you had no other "popery", you could look to her life and find the answers.
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    That's exactly what I wanted to know - missal, because there are other books for the Catholic laity as well. Thanks!
    Just to specify: does it mean her life was like a missal or was described in the missals or could be used in the missals?
     
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