The Book of Margery Kempe
"Alas that I ever did sin! It is so merry in Heaven!"
The Book of Margery Kempe (c. 1436-8) is the extraordinary account of a medieval wife, mother, and mystic. Known as the earliest autobiography written in the English language, Kempe'sBook describes the dramatic transformation of its heroine from failed businesswoman and lustful young wife, to devout and chaste pilgrim. She vividly describes her prayers and visions, as well as the temptations in daily life to which she succumbed before dedicating herself to her spiritual calling. She travelled to the most holy sites of the medieval world, including Rome and Jerusalem.
In her life and her boisterous devotion, Kempe antagonized many of those around her; yet she also garnered friends and supporters who helped to record her experiences. HerBook opens a window to the medieval world, and provides a fascinating portrait of one woman's life, aspirations, and prayers. This new translation preserves the forceful narrative voice of Kempe'sBook and includes a wide-ranging introduction and useful notes.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - setnahkt - LibraryThing
From the medieval history reading program. This is called “the first English autobiography”, which is somewhat stretching the term. Margery Kempe was a 14th century middle class Englishwoman from Lynn ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - PollyMoore3 - LibraryThing
Enjoyable not as the wisdom of a mystic (Margery had complex psychological reasons for her strange behaviour, undoubtedly), but for its homely glimpses of medieval life. And Margery even gets to meet ... Read full review