Book of Margery Kempe

ISBN-10: 0140432515
ISBN-13: 9780140432510
Edition: 1999
List price: $15.00 Buy it from $1.87
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.00
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 2/4/1986
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 336
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.616
Language: English

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.

Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 13421400) was born in London, the son of a wine merchant, and spent his life in royal and government service. His literary work, notable for its range of genres, helped establish the English literary tradition. <BR><BR> Barry Windeatt is a professor of English at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He translated <I>The Book of Margery Kempe</I> for Penguin Classics.

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.

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