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The Book of Margery Kempe by Margery Kempe

The Book of Margery Kempe (1438)

by Margery Kempe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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776811,891 (3.5)20

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I read this as part of my degree, so from an academic point of view it was very fascinating and provides a woman's account of the late middle ages and blah blah blah. It's too bad that old Margery was completely off her head most of the time. I am not going to base my rating on academic merit, but rather how pleasurable it was to read. This woman rambles on and on and on. It felt like it was about ten times the length it was, and it is probably the most torturous thing I have ever suffered to read. It is a completely self indulgent and self centred account in which she reiterates the same tired points for 200 odd pages. At a certain point it became a test of endurance, around about the 500th time she relates that God made her weep heavily and people thought she was a heretic for it (this happens every five pages). Do yourself a favour, unless you have to, please don't read this; you will not leave the experience feeling satisfied, and as far as Christian mystics go, I assure you that there are far more interesting accounts to be read than this. ( )
  hickey92 | Jan 24, 2016 |
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 a true mystic, Mother Julian of Norwich, who treats Margery with characteristic gentleness and wisdom.
1 vote PollyMoore3 | Jun 19, 2015 |
Absolutely fascinating. ( )
  DavidCLDriedger | Apr 22, 2015 |
It's probably a bit unfair to give this only two stars as it is very much of its era and closely follows the form of 'Saints Lives' type books . It isn't meant to be a tightly plotted literary masterpiece, it does not even unfold chronologically. Though I sometimes enjoyed the (unintentional) wry humour of some of it, on the whole I felt a bit manipulated by Margery. I would most definitely come down on the 'madness' side of any argument, but have a sneaking suspicion that may be exactly what Margery would have wanted in order to feed her martyr complex.

On the whole, though, I am glad that I read it and it contains some interesting details about everyday medieval life and some not so everyday aspects, such as travel to foreign countries. It took a lot of sifting in order to glean those bits, though. ( )
1 vote dylkit | Feb 3, 2014 |
Well now that was interesting ( )
2 vote Harrod | Dec 5, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Margery Kempeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Staley, LynnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Here begins a short study which offers sinful wretches great reassurance, consolation and comfort, and an understanding of the sublime and inexpressible mercy of our sovereign saviour Christ Jesus.
A little later, I thought I saw our Lady walking towards her home ... Once our Lady was home and resting on her bed it occurred to me to make her a nice hot drink, but when I took it to her she told me to throw it away.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140432515, Paperback)

The story of the eventful and controversial life of Margery Kempe wife, mother, businesswoman, pilgrim and visionary is the earliest surviving autobiography in English. Here Kempe (c.1373 c.1440) recounts in vivid, unembarrassed detail the madness that followed the birth of the first of her fourteen children, the failure of her brewery business, her dramatic call to the spiritual life, her visions and uncontrollable tears, the struggle to convert her husband to a vow of chastity and her pilgrimages to Europe and the Holy Land. Margery Kempe could not read or write, and dictated her remarkable story late in life. It remains an extraordinary record of human faith and a portrait of a medieval woman of unforgettable character and courage.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:08 -0400)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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