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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Bibliography

See biographies by M. Thornton (1961) and L. Collis (1964); study by R. K. Stone (1970).

References in periodicals archive ?
Originally written in the 15th century, the spiritual autobiography The Book of Margery Kempe was rediscovered in the 1930s; it gives insight on medieval female spiritualty and female Christian mysticism.
Katie Ann-Marie Bugyis examines the theological and devotional significance of the glossing provided by another writer associated with Mount Grace, the anonymous Red Ink Annotator of The Book of Margery Kempe.
This memoir, The Book of Margery Kempe, is considered the first English autobiography.
In it Dinshaw explores the asynchrony of Hope Emily Allen, the amateur whose work with medieval texts brought The Book of Margery Kempe into the twentieth century.
Surveying hermits, monks, holy men and women, and anchorites from sources including St John Cassian's Conferences up to the Book of Margery Kempe and the Revelations of Julian of Norwich, McAvoy aims to show that male anchoritic practices are, overall, gendered in their expression.
All citations from The Book of Margery Kempe are to line numbers and from the Staley edition, while inserted Modern English equivalents for Middle English words and phrases will be my own.
The relationship between this dangerous body and conversely safe soul in The Book of Margery Kempe is most effectively demonstrated in Kempe's search for a renewed virginity.
Adrienne Williams Boyarin's "Sealed Flesh, Book-Skin: How to Read the Female Body in the Early Middle English Seinte Margarete" continues this theme, as do the contributions of Johanne Paquette, who offers a fascinating reading of the Book of Margery Kempe and the marginalia of the text's red ink annotator, and Jonathan Juilfs, who considers the textual transmission of Julian of Norwich's Revelation of Love from the mid-fifteenth century Amherst manuscript through its first printed manifestation in Hugh Cressy's edition of 1670.
After reading selections from Hildegard we moved to The Book of Margery Kempe.
While alert to the problems posed by lack of the evidence that could help position the play in its cultural landscape, Coletti rightly points out that Julian of Norwich's Revelations and The Book of Margery Kempe are commonly taken to be windows onto social and political realities when in fact they are no less unmoored from their contexts than the Digby play is.
In chapter nine of Book Two of The Book of Margery Kempe, Margery arrives incognito in London after a physically and emotionally taxing trip to the Continent.
Naoe Kurita Yoshikawa suggests that the Virgin Mary's frequent appearances in the Book of Margery Kempe bring together themes of life (the Nativity) and death (the Passion).