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The Book of Margery Kempe (Penguin Classics) Paperback – February 4, 1986
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The first autobiography written in English--by a brewery owner, Christian mystic, and mother of 14 named Margery Kempe, who died in the 15th century--is now available in a lively, modern translation by John Skinner. It begins with her stark conversion experience, heralded by a vision of Christ in her bedroom one night. The story follows Margery through pilgrimages across Europe and to the Holy Land, through a heresy trial in England, and her burgeoning mystical life. Similar in many ways to Showings by Julian of Norwich and the Confessions of Augustine, The Book of Margery Kempe is a beautiful description of medieval daily life and religious experience. --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
This classic, one of the first English autobiographies, chronicles the spiritual life of a very unusual, and illiterate, medieval woman. Not an autobiography in the modern sense, the text?dictated between 1432 and 1436?provides sparse personal detail but does give some insight into the beliefs of this holy woman. Kempe (c. 1373-c. 1440) ran a brewery, married, and mothered 14 children before taking a vow of chastity. In her subsequent pilgrimages she learned much through pious conversations with strangers and gained important insights from her communion with God about how her manner of dress and uncontrolled tears at communion would save her from some "secret" sin. Numerous translations of these writings exist, including the Middle English Memoirs of a Medieval Woman (1983), but this text uses modern English and organizes the chapters chronologically, making for a better story. Recommended for popular religious collections.?Leo Kriz, West Des Moines Lib.,
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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The story itself is very very boring. It was okay at first but the more I read the more boring it got. I could not get past chapter 45, halfway through the book. It was just so repetitive. The whole book is pretty much just her weeping, people chiding her, God speaking to her, and her weeping and people disapproving of her ways and God speaking to her again and her weeping..again. That was it. That was pretty much the whole book up to where I left off. She went to Jerusalem and that would've made an interesting story if more part of the book had been dedicated to it, or if she'd described it in more detail or something.
Her constant crying got on my nerves, to be honest. That was what made me put the book down. I would have kept reading but she "had loud cryings and violent siblings". Again. I just could not bear reading about her crying anymore.
To sum things up, the story was boring BUT it was well translated, easy to read, which is why it gets 4 stars and not 1.