Margery Kempe

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Kempe, Margery

(kĕmp), d. 1438 or afterward, English religious writer, b. King's Lynn. She was the wife of a prominent citizen and the mother of 14 children. Her autobiography, The Book of Margery Kempe (complete ed. 1940; ed. with modern spelling 1944), was known only in small excerpts until 1934, when the whole was discovered. She was a religious enthusiast whose loud weeping in church and reproof of her neighbors kept her in public disfavor. She traveled abroad as a pilgrim, and her work has rich details of the everyday life of her time. The narrative is occasionally interrupted with visions, prayers, and meditations, many of them of great beauty. The book may be the earliest autobiography in English. See mysticismmysticism
[Gr.,=the practice of those who are initiated into the mysteries], the practice of putting oneself into, and remaining in, direct relation with God, the Absolute, or any unifying principle of life. Mysticism is inseparably linked with religion.
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See biographies by M. Thornton (1961) and L. Collis (1964); study by R. K. Stone (1970).

References in periodicals archive ?
Hsy writes of the distinguished (John Gower, Margery Kempe, William Caxton) as well as the obscure as he analyzes the ever-changing nature of the ways of writing, focusing on London's languages and translingual writing, Chaucer's polyglot existence at home and at the customs house, overseas travels and languages in motion, translingual identities in John Gower and William Caxton, travel and language contacts in The Book of Margery Kemp, merchant compilations and translingual creation, and contact literatures, both medieval and postcolonial.
The texts include Piers Plowman, Pierce the Plowman's Crede, The Book of Margery Kemp and the York Corpus Christi plays.
But it is not the text of Chaucer, Margery Kemp and Langland that Schoff considers here but the ways in which printed books solidified the authorial voice as filtered through the editor and printer.