Margery Kempe and English Mysticism

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the English mystic Margery Kempe (1373-1438) whose extraordinary life is recorded in a book she dictated, The Book of Margery Kempe. She went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to Rome and Santiago de Compostela, purchasing indulgences on her way, met with the anchoress Julian of Norwich and is honoured by the Church of England each 9th November. She sometimes doubted the authenticity of her mystical conversations with God, as did the authorities who saw her devotional sobbing, wailing and convulsions as a sign of insanity and dissoluteness. Her Book was lost for centuries, before emerging in a private library in 1934.

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  • Miri Rubin 12 episodes
    Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London
  • Katherine Lewis 5 episodes
    Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Huddersfield
  • Anthony Bale 2 episodes
    Professor of Medieval Studies at Birkbeck University of London

Reading list

  • A Companion to the Book of Margery Kempe
    John H. Arnold and Katherine J. Lewis (eds.) (D. S. Brewer, 2010) Google Books →
  • The Book of Margery Kempe
    Anthony Bale (trans.) (Oxford University Press, 2015)
  • God is an Earthquake: The Spirituality of Margery Kempe
    Santha Bhattacharji (Darton, Longman and Todd, 1997) Google Books →
  • Margery Kempe and her World
    Anthony Goodman (Longman, 2002) Google Books →
  • Margery Kempe and the Translations of the Flesh
    Karma Lochrie (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991) Google Books →
  • The Theater of Devotion: East Anglian Drama and Society in the Late Middle Ages
    Gail McMurray Gibson (University of Chicago Press, 1989) Google Books →
  • Margery Kempe's Dissenting Fictions
    Lynn Staley (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994) Google Books →
  • Pilgrimage: An Image of Mediaeval Religion
    Jonathan Sumption (Faber & Faber, 2002) Google Books →
  • Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages: A Reader
    Brett Whalen (University of Toronto Press, 2011) Google Books →
  • The Book of Margery Kempe: Annotated Edition
    Barry Windeatt (ed.) (D. S. Brewer, 2006) Google Books →
  • The Book of Margery Kempe
    Barry Windeatt (ed.) (Penguin Classics, 2000) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 270 (Christian church history and Christian denominations)