Margery Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe

Laura Kalas (Swansea University)
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Introduction

The Book of Margery Kempe is the single work attributed to the late-medieval religious visionary, Margery Kempe (b.1373 – d. after 1438). The Book was rediscovered in 1934 after a long time in obscura, and has been subject to multiple scholarly interpretations, many of which have sought to pathologize Margery Kempe as ill or disordered due to the many descriptions of her noisy crying and collapsing during the visions and raptures that she experienced. As Sarah Salih has attested here, the Book side-lines Kempe’s family and domestic life in favour of a focus on her qualifications as a religious exemplum – as Salih puts it, it is an “autohagiography” (Salih, 2001). It is certainly a work of collaboration, engendered by Kempe’s dictation of her experiences to a

5145 words

Citation: Kalas, Laura. "The Book of Margery Kempe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 June 2018 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6274, accessed 29 May 2024.]

6274 The Book of Margery Kempe 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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