This is an edition of the earliest surviving autobiography of the unique account of the extraordinary life, travels and revelations of Margery Kempe. For the first time the original text is presented in an accessible form for modern readers. This is the most compelling and significant English text of the Middle Ages. Provides on-page annotation , the first of its kind for this book, which brings together the insights of scholarship on Kempe since the discovery of the manuscript in 1934. Also included is a chronology of Kemp's life, a helpful summary analysis of the chapters, and a full bibliography. A must for those interested in the history or literature of the Middle Ages, or for those interested in Women's' history.
This classic, one of the first English autobiographies, chronicles the spiritual life of a very unusual, and illiterate, medieval woman. Not an autobiography in the modern sense, the text--dictated between 1432 and 1436--provides sparse personal detail but does give some insight into the beliefs of this holy woman. Kempe (c. 1373-c. 1440) ran a brewery, married, and mothered 14 children before taking a vow of chastity. In her subsequent pilgrimages she learned much through pious conversations with strangers and gained important insights from her communion with God about how her manner of dress and uncontrolled tears at communion would save her from some "secret" sin. Numerous translations of these writings exist, including the Middle English Memoirs of a Medieval Woman (1983), but this text uses modern English and organizes the chapters chronologically, making for a better story. Recommended for popular religious collections.--Leo Kriz, West Des Moines Lib., IA