The Book of Margery Kempe (Oxford World's Classics Series)
:'Alas that I ever did sin! It is so merry in Heaven!'The Book of Margery Kempe (c. 1436-8) is the extraordinary account of a medieval wife, mother, and mystic. Known as the earliest autobiography written in the English language, Kempe's...
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:'Alas that I ever did sin! It is so merry in Heaven!'The Book of Margery Kempe (c. 1436-8) is the extraordinary account of a medieval wife, mother, and mystic. Known as the earliest autobiography written in the English language, Kempe's Book describes the dramatic transformation of its heroine from failed businesswoman and lustful young wife to devout and chaste pilgrim. She vividly describes her prayers andvisions, as well as the temptations in daily life to which she succumbed before dedicating herself to her spiritual calling. She travelled to the most holy sites of the medieval world, including Rome andJerusalem.In her life and her boisterous devotion, Kempe antagonized many of those around her; yet she also garnered friends and supporters who helped to record her experiences. Her Book opens a window on to the medieval world, and provides a fascinating portrait of one woman's life, aspirations, and prayers. This new translation preserves the forceful narrative voice of Kempe's Book and includes a wide-ranging introduction and usefulnotes.ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship,providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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.