This is the first edition for sixty years of the earliest surviving autobiography in English, the unique account (dated 1436-8) of the extraordinary life, travels and revelations of Margery Kempe, a Norfolk housewife and mother, pilgrim, prophet and visionary. For the first time the original text is presented in an accessible form for modern readers, with full on-page glossing and a glossary of common words. The unrivalled on-page annotation provides the first commentary of its kind on the Book, bringing together the insights of scholarship on Kempe since the discovery of the manuscript in 1934, and setting the life of a remarkable Englishwoman in the social, political and spiritual context of her times.
An introduction provides up-to-date information and contexts for interpretation of a text central to courses on womens studies, womens history, and medieval literature. There is also a chronology of Kempes life, a helpful summary analysis of the chapters, and a full bibliography, in this new edition of a work now accepted as among the most compelling and significant English texts of the Middle Ages. The earliest surviving autobiographical writing in English, this narrative tells of a womans pilgramages through Europe and the Holy Land.