Book of Margery Kempe

ISBN-10: 1879288729
ISBN-13: 9781879288720
Edition: 1996
List price: $24.95
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Description: Written probably in the late 1430s, The Book of Margery Kempe is one of the most astonishing documents of late medieval English life. Its protagonist, who represents herself as its ultimate author, was not simply a woman but a woman thoroughly  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: Medieval Institute Publications
Publication date: 12/1/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 7.25" wide x 10.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Written probably in the late 1430s, The Book of Margery Kempe is one of the most astonishing documents of late medieval English life. Its protagonist, who represents herself as its ultimate author, was not simply a woman but a woman thoroughly rooted in the world. She evinces the manners and the tastes neither of the court nor of the nunnery, but the piety, the culture, the profit-oriented values, and the status-consciousness of the late medieval town. As a member of the powerful guild of the Holy Trinity in the prosperous East Anglian town of Bishops Lynn, Margery Kempe wrote from a secure position within the very world she subjects to such careful scrutiny. Kempe examines the fundamental conflicts and tensions of that world by describing her gradual and voluntary movement away from worldly prestige. Margery's disengagement from conventional female roles and duties--and consequently her daring rejection of the values of her fellow townspersons--is a response to her growing commitment to her spiritual vocation. Her attempt to gain personal, financial, and spiritual autonomy is a tale of radical reversal that touches us on many diffferent levels. Margery does what very few are able finally to do, and the fact that she does so as a woman enhances the force of her story--she breaks away.

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.

Lynn Staley is Harrington and Shirley Drake Professor of the Humanities at Colgate University. Her most recent books include Margery Kempe's Dissenting Fictions (Penn State, 1994), The Shepheardes Calendar: An Introduction (Penn State, 1990), and an edition of The Book of Margery Kempe (1996)

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