The Book of Margery Kempe: A New Translation, Contexts, Criticism

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Norton, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 305 pages
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Kempe's work isaccompanied by an introduction, a map of medieval England, a Kempelexicon, and explanatory annotations.

"Contexts" collects primaryreadings that illuminate The Book of Margery Kempe.  Included areexcerpts from The Constitutions of Thomas Arundel, Meditations on theLife of Christ, The Shewings of Julian of Norwich, The Book of SaintBride, and The Life of Marie d'Oignies by Jacques de Vitry.

"Criticism"includes nine varied interpretations of the autobiography, written byClarissa W. Atkinson, Lynn Staley, Karma Lochrie, David Aers, KathleenAshley, Gail McMurray Gibson, Sarah Beckwith, Caroline Walker Bynum,and Nicholas Watson.

A Selected Bibliography is also included.

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User 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

About the author (2001)

The daughter of a respected merchant and public official, Margery Kempe was born in about 1373 in Norfolk, England. When Kempe was in her 20s, she began having visions in which she talked to Jesus, Mary, and some saints. In 1414, Kempe and her husband, a local official named John Kempe whom she married in 1393, embarked on a series of pilgrimages to the Holy Land and throughout Europe. At about the age of 60, Kempe dictated her spiritual autobiography to two scribes. The earliest autobiography written in English, The Book of Margery Kempe discusses every aspect of Kempe's life, including her marriage, religious conversion, and many pilgrimages. Margery Kempe is believed to have died sometime around 1440.

Lynn Staley is Harrington and Shirley Drake Professor of the Humanities at Colgate University. Her most recent books include Margery Kempe's Dissenting Fictions (Penn State, 1994), The Shepheardes Calendar: An Introduction (Penn State, 1990), and an edition of The Book of Margery Kempe (1996)

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