A huge number of books and articles have been written over the past hundred years.
It would be impossible to list them all, but among those which are usually available today, either new, or second-hand through Amazon, and which provide a good introduction to the subject, we would recommend:
Francis and Clare: the complete works. Paulist Press 1982
In one volume, all that Francis and Clare themselves wrote; their Rules, Testaments, prayers and letters.
Helen Julian CSF, Living the Gospel: the spirituality of Francis and Clare. Bible Reading Fellowship, 2001 (Published in America as Francis and Clare: a gospel story, The Word Among Us, 2005)
Looks at Francis and Clare together, showing how they shared responsibility for the growth and influence of the Franciscan way, and how deeply rooted their teaching was in Scripture. This book is now OUT OF PRINT but is available as a paid PDF download from BRF.
Rowan Clare Williams, A condition of complete simplicity: Franciscan wisdom for today’s world. Canterbury Press, 2003
Offers a practical exploration of three essential elements of Franciscan spirituality – humility, love and joy – as they can be lived out in a world often characterised by violence, greed and conflict.
Michael Robson, St Francis of Assisi: the legend and the life. Continuum, 1997
Written by a Conventual Franciscan friar, this biography approaches Francis through the thoughts and writings of those who knew him.
Lawrence S Cunningham, Francis of Assisi: performing the Gospel life. Wm B Eerdmans, 2004
Pursues a realistic view of Francis, seeing his originality in his articulation of the ‘ideal gospel life’.
Ilia Delio, Franciscan prayer. St Anthony Messenger Press, 2004
Outlines what it means to pray as a Franciscan, using the insights of Francis himself, Clare, and Bonaventure.
There are also publications about the growth of the Franciscan life within the Anglican Church, most notably:
Francis SSF, Brother Douglas: apostle of the outcast. Mowbray, 1959
The story of one of the founders of SSF, by a brother who knew him.
| Peta Dunstan, This Poor Sort: a history of the European Province of the Socity of St Francis. DLT, 1997
The first full history of the brothers SSF, from the beginnings in the 1920s through seventy years of growth, change and struggle.
Barrie Williams, The Franciscan Revival in the Anglican Communion. DLT, 1982
Deals with all the major Franciscan communities throughout the Anglican Communion, linking their appearance with the resurgence of interest in Francis in the 1890s.