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MARGERY KEMPE: HER LIFE AND THE EARLY HISTORY OF HER BOOK Author(s): CHARITY SCOTT STOKES Reviewed

work(s): Source: Mystics Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 1/2 (March/June 1999), pp. 9-68 Published by: Penn State University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20717362 . Accessed: 18/01/2013 13:34
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Vol 25, #1/2, March/June

1999

MARGERY KEMPE: HER LIFE AND THE EARLY HISTORY OF HER BOOK
CHARITY SCOTT STOKES

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
BMK

AND SHORT TITLES

S.B. Meech (ed.) & H.E. Allen, The Book of Margery Kempe, Vol. I, EETS os 212 (1940). The second volume projected by H.E. Allen
was not completed.1

BRUC BRUO EETS os KL Liber I Liber II NRO

A.B. Emden, Biographical Register of the University ofCambridge to

1500(1963)

A.B. Emden, BiographicalRegister of the A. D. University of Oxford to 1500, 3 vols. (1957-59) Early English Text Society,Original Series King's Lynn Borough Archives First book of The Book of Margery Kempe Second book of The Book of Margery Kempe Norfolk Record Office RR The Red Register ofLynn, ed. H. Ingleby,Vol. 1,1919; Vol II, 1921

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Mystics

Quarterly

INTRODUCTION
The present study attempts toplace the figureofMargery Kempe, as presented in the book that bears her name, in the context of latemedieval local history, geography, society and religion, and to consider the early history of her book. Taking as its starting-point the commentary and notes assembled by S.B.Meech and H.E. Allen for theEarly English Text Society edition of 1940, the studymakes use of scholarship of the last sixtyyears as well as recent original documentary

research to draw together various threads of information about her life, and about the writing and transmission of her book.

Norfolk, Margery Kempe passed her early lifeand much ofher later lifeinLynn in where she grew up and married and bore fourteen children. From young adulthood she experienced revelations. She became profoundly religious,wished to lead a religious life while remaining in the world, and persuaded her husband

after some twenty years ofmarriage to agree to vows of chastity. She travelled as a pilgrim to Jerusalem, Rome, and Compostella. She was given to religious
and, for ten years following her visit to Jerusalem, to shrieks and cries,

weeping

prompted above all by contemplation of Christ's Passion and the sinful ingratitude ofmankind. As an old woman, after thedeaths of her husband and
one of her sons,

the latter's home-town of Danzig, and made her way back to England via was before and after Stralsund and the holy places ofWilsnack and Aachen. It these late travels that the story of her lifewas recorded, with the help of amanuenses. The Book of Margery Kempe treats of the "wonderful werkys" of was moved to the love ofGod (1/ Christ and tells how Jesus Margery, a sinner,
10-19).2

she accompanied

her widowed

daughter-in-law

on a voyage

to

At a timewhen anxiety about Lollard heresy and treason had led to injunctions against reading of theBible in thevernacular by laypeople, and against preaching and teaching by women, she took itupon herself to expound scripture, to tell moral tales, and to reprimand clerics and others for theirungodly way of life, in particular for swearing oaths. Resolutely denying charges of Lollardy, she was found orthodox with regard to the articles of the faithwhenever she was

examined by ecclesiastical authorities. Deferential inmost respects to the authority of the church, and conscious of the need to negotiate her husband's consent toher chosen way of life,shewas revered and supported by some people, but she nevertheless became widely known as a disorderly woman. Outward in expression of religious ecstasy and penitential lamentations often resulted

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or people. This content downloaded on Fri. into which Margery Kempe was born around 1373. in other respects very little.. London. pp. Lincoln. however veracious it may be. 257) Some of the events described took place up to forty years earlier than the time of are some not in recorded strict writing. Other than in her own book there is no certain Yet. Records of examinations and inquisitions were sometimes included among the memoranda in bishops' registers. supports theview expressed in for illusyons": I shall say. York. as the editor of the registerof Philip Repingdon of Lincoln points out. #2/2. (note on 3/8. such as theGuildhall H.I. and no compelling reason has been found to doubt its veracity on points of factualdetail. and that shewas received into membership of the prosperous merchants' guild at that time (App. notwithstanding serious scholarly claims that itshould be regarded as a work of fiction. March/June 1999 the case of Margery Kempe in charges of hypocrisy and impropriety. Her book recounts that she was examined by bishops. Her own book provides much information. that I think that Margery's "dread for illusions" was a motive which trained her to an accuracy of expression (as to external events) quite exceptional in the Middle Ages. places. or imputations of sickness. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .but it is generally assumed that two entries in the Lynn Holy Trinity Guild ofMerchants' account rolls for 1437-38 and 1438-39. the clerks responsible for making such entriesmade theirown selection of itemsworthy of record. although in other instances such behaviour might be interpreted as a sign of grace and sanctity. chronological sequence (5/12-16).3Historical evidence of external events alluded to in the book. There is in some respects an abundance ofmaterial available for an account of her life. Allen's note on "drede fireof 1421 inLynn.E. Cawood and Beverley..Vol 25.. and several references to the of the Kempe family. archbishops or their in representatives Norwich. Margery Kempe's life.but. Bristol. of Assheden for the entry of a Margery Kempe into payments made by one John theTrinityGuild. Leicester. intowhich 11 she married around 1393. 358-359).4 contemporary record of events in male members Lynn and Norwich archives contain frequent referencesduring the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries to male members of theprominent Brunham family.p. the book was intended to tell of conversion and religious life rather than to give precise details of dates.l. refer toher.III. Bishops' registers reveal no trace of her.

Bishop ofNorwich.6 Robert Brunham. and competing traders. An account of these troubles is given in thememorandum book and formulary of William Asshebourne. the potentiores.A royal charter granted by King John in 1205 decreed was from the group of potentiores that juratswere to be selected. The population of Lynn was divided into three classes. There are no Brunhams or Kempes on the calendar's list of 259 is burgesses for20 July 1440. and the Lord Chancellor. under the overlordship was a of about the last quarter of the fourteenth century there 5. LATE MEDIEVAL LYNN Medieval a Lynn was anjmportant port and market town.The fundamental loyalty of the town did not fall farbehind Lynn burgesses to theCrown. the mediocres and theminores. for most ofMargery Kempe's lifetime. was mayor when the attempts towiden electoral choice and increase thenumber of burgesses reached theirpeak in 1415. probably a cousin ofMargery Kempe. Bishop community ofmerchants. particularly those from the Baltic. two members of parliament. The Prior of the Benedictine Priory was influential competitive in civic spirit as well as in ecclesiastical religion and affairs. The electoral procedures. Earl who had property near Lynn. population The mayor and the aldermen of theHoly TrinityGuild ofMerchants were the most powerful laymen in the town. leading to men of Lynn forthright disagreement among the townspeople. led by vigorous In of of the Norwich. and other officials. the of Dorset.7 The men of Lynn acted with self-assurance in civic and trade negotiations. England was atwar with Scotland or France. or both. and indealings with Church and Crown. which denied a voice to themajority of townsmen. social There is evidence sometimes of a keen in trade. class. common clerk of Lynn. and between the and representatives of theBishop ofNorwich.5 There no record of commemorative brasses or othermemorials to a Brunham orKempe in the town. were contested on several occasions. Thomas Beaufort. and the fact that the 12 early fifteenth-century This content downloaded on Fri. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and no mention of a Kemp(e) between the late fourteenth and mid sixteenth centuries. about the time ofMargery Kempe's death.500. theKing's Council. But in 1416 the old ways were restored following the interventionofKing Henry V.The calendar of the freemen of Lynn has no mention of a Brunham after the end of the fourteenth century.Mystics Quarterly References to femaleKempes and Brunhams are rare. who in that it turn elected mayor and communitas.

the Black Prince. and The medieval memorials in the church confirm the impression of a thriving merchant community. Inland by water. beneath the abacus of a column close to the altar. portray royalty and church dignitaries.9 itwas at Lynn that the Brigittine religious mother appointed to thenew foundation came ashore. the Baltic and Flanders. are demonstrated by Henry Norwich in itsability to contribute to V's success in raising 400 marks (?133 6s 8d) fromLynn. and when Syon Abbey was eventually journeys Lynn forty miles 13 This content downloaded on Fri. on their journey from the house in Sweden. March/June 1999 war expenses. in close proximity to civic buildings. fromhis grandmother. or fleets. links especially with the City of London. #1/2. and with King Eric of theNordic Union and with the corporations of Stralsund. always under threat fromhigh tides and flooding. are commemorated in misericords in theparish church of StMargaret. When Brigittinemonks were sent to Cambridgeshire in 1408 in preparation for the founding of a Brigittine abbey inEngland. There were numerous waterways. within Lynn. independent in spirit and yet loyal toCrown and Church. Lynn. west-north-west founded by Henry V in 1415. this in 1406. Edward Prince ofWales. and Rostock. The Prince and his parents. providing merchants' houses and the parish church of StMargaret. and with Norwich and the pilgrim shrine atWalsingham. and and forty foot. In the early fifteenthcentury Lynn merchants sometimes had unofficial representation on were in a position tonegotiate independently diplomatic missions toPrussia. While many of themisericords. There are some strongly individual pagan motifs in the church memorials and ornamentation. Henry IV's daughter Philippa embarked at Lynn on her journey as child bride to the futureKing Eric of theNordic Union was the occasion of a royal visit to Lynn by Henry IV. and other faces and figures carved in stone or wood. towards his expedition to France in 1415. as compared with 500 marks fromNorwich. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . giving merchants' were was premises undertaken some direct on access to the water. coastal and overseas trade and travel. inheritedCastle Rising. others depict men and women in the everyday lifeof the town and themarket. with Scandinavia.widow of Edward II. There is a well-known woman's head with scold's bridle. Lynn was a major port for inland. Edward III and Queen Philippa.8 Wismar There were royal properties not far from Lynn. The riverGreat Ouse brought ships to quays stretching the whole western lengthof the medieval town. four-and-a-halfmiles north-east of Lynn. on horseback. in cart or of Norwich carriage.Vol 25.

on foot. when travelling had become a trial to her. Competition could lead to serious damage being inflictedby each side on the other.By the late fourteenth century this prosperity being by taxation and by competition.10 The use mentioned in of the inlandwaterway fromLynn towards Cambridge is Margery a means was travel. On her late travels slower of and book (203/1-2). Itwas necessitating frequent protracted negotiations a from Lynn that king's clerk. and on occasion it is also noted thatEnglish traderswere ordered to leave Danzig unless married to local women.married to a local woman. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and imports ofwine.14 There was was the cause of furtherdisputes. and in carts Lynn's prosperity was built on trade by land and water. These measures were of immediate toLynn families such as theKempes. and in making the largerprofit. In 1385 Lynnmen submitted claims fora total of ?1. thevarious hardships of travelling by water.12 The Hanseatic merchants had their own premises in Lynn. in particular from Hanseatic merchants. including exports of cloth. It was achieved between England and Prussia which settled the differences treaty most ofMargery Kempe's lifetime. but the treaty was a national issue. and salt. and there was an English church inDanzig.11Neither side was deterred from trade by theiron-going rivalry. herring.The men of Lynn were able to hold theirown and often succeeded in gaining theupper hand. shementions or wains.913 3s 4d fordamages inflicted by theirHanseatic rivals. close to the waterfront. the English were represented by the was not until 1437 that a Lynn merchant. When Prussian treaty in 1409. timber. that had been a source of antagonism for 14 This content downloaded on Fri. A fast rider could miles east of the cover the 192miles between London and York in less than five days.and was threatened fur. tar. who had a son living in the Baltic. in the course of reprisals fordamage inflicted. set sail in negotiations took place in 1435 between envoys of theKing's Council and the Hanse in theCarmelite church at Bruges.wool. grain. accompanied by London merchants.on horseback.13The men of Lynn also had theirown premises inDanzig.Mystics Quarterly main south-north axis fromLondon toYork.theEnglishmen in Danzig were ordered to live own in their with host families rather than together expatriate community. Thomas Borowe. Periodically it is recorded that. and two lawyers. Competition between English and Hanseatic merchants at the and highest level. Kempe's to and from the Baltic. pitch. importance 1388 in order to submit proposals to theGrand Master of theTeutonic Order in an Anglo Marienburg for a peaceful settlement of differences.

18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . In spite of fluctuations in trade.16 themediocres and inferiores Gaywood. The priorywas a cell of theBenedictine priory atNorwich.V. A well disposed prior referred to by name inMargery Kempe's book is Thomas great annual fairs. a programme of building continued in Lynn through the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. and 900 Priory and church were dedicated to StMary Magdalen. parish church and chapel. very close to Lynn. have diminished the privileges of the parish church and the priory and were on a later opposed by members of the Brunham and Kempe families.15This phase of bad relations began shortly after Margery Kempe's visit to Danzig. each ofwhich lasted twoweeks. StMargaret's Fair ran for one week before and one week after the saint's day. The prior was appointed by the bishop. byMargery Kempe controversy (pp. The Holy Trinity Guildhall was rebuilt after the fireof 1421 described in Margery Kempe's book guildhall still (pp. Founded was richlyendowed. He held office circa 1408-1422 (App. His activites extended to a conciliatory role in the civic troubles of 1416 caused by the wish of to extend the franchise. The in is built around Britain what (in King Street) standing was in the re-built during Lynn period 1371-1419. and profit from the lull in merchants could sail first trade. St George's Guildhall. The priory remained subject to the diocesan priory of Norwich and therewas a bishop's palace at 15 This content downloaded on Fri. 6 December. it theprivileges of Saturday market and StMargaret's Fair. StMargaret and all virgin saints. 162-164). 58-60). 369-371). 1400 at theChapel of StNicholas at theChapel of St James. and. not seem does herself The occasion. and was granted by Bishop Herbert Losinga around 1100. temporarilygained in the late 1370s. one of the town's two Hevyngham. StNicholas' Fair ran for twoweeks from the feast of StNicholas. and Chapel of St Nicholas was town in the there recurring strife regarding attempts to secure privileges for the administration of the sacraments of baptism and purification on behalf would of thischapel-of-ease. pp. March/June 1999 and even then the Lynn authorities held back Prussian ships so that Lynn with their cargo of cloth.III. the largest fifteenth-century was now 1410. The prior continued to appoint and pay chaplains forchurch and chapel.A petition forprivileges sent to Martin V in 1426 records that at Easter communion there were 1600 persons Pope in attendance at StMargaret's Church. #1/2. and each seems to have flourished. to have caused serious discontinuity in the close links between priory.+ Vol 25. Such privileges. 20 July.

Kempe's supporters Lynn circa 1428. Setchey. and that she complied with their wish (pp. pp. 277). 368-369). asked Margery Kempe to Waterbeach. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Itwas laid down references to these houses in thebook. and her principal confessor after thedeath of the Dominican anchorite. 176-177).was a prolificwriter. Himself at times a controversial figure. Among theworks ascribed to him are indexes for theRevelationes Brigittae and Prophetiae Brigittae (22/11-12 and note.19There were four of of whom three Mary Magdalen.18 He himselfwas reported tohave mystical and prophetic powers (43/35^44/18 and notes). Alan of Lynn. the in of St JohnBaptist Damgate and the Hospital Hospital of StMary Magdalen on the causeway leading toGaywood. twenty-two of Lynn.III. This connection some the of her book.and probably for the restof her life. Hospital further lazar houses close to Lynn. another ofMargery some in for twentyyears up to the time of his death. The anchorite strengthenedMargery Kempe's belief in thedivine origin ofher revelations. forty Denny Abbey at were to be twelve brethren and sisters at the that in addition to the prior there were tobe lepers. at Cowgate.which was said tohave a relic ofmilk from theVirgin's breast. The flow of pilgrims through Lynn to the shrine and relics of the Blessed Virgin at Walsingham was such that in the late fifteenthcentury theRed Mount Chapel with two staircases to was built on the outskirts of Lynn to accommodate them. and Gaywood.IV. 16 This content downloaded on Fri. p. was by the Lynn mayor and communitas on several occasions when he The well-known Carmelite doctor of divinity. who for several decades in the early fifteenth centurywas the stalwart. It is recorded that the Franciscan nuns of miles to the south. supporter of Margery Robert Kempe: Spryngolde. There to the south of the town. during the absence of theDominican anchorite towhom her early revelations had directed her as confessor (44/20). in but there were Lynn. 268) and for the Stimulus Amoris (39/24 and note. a six-mile within radius at Marham. There were have transmission may significance regarding twohospitals inLynn. 202-203). miles north-east The nearest place of pilgrimage was Walsingham. shemay have gone to any of these houses. though not uncritical. and Cistercian and south-east Benedictine nuns nuns at all are no were demonstrates There Austin Blackborough. at Crabhouse. p. When Margery Kempe was given permission toembrace female lepers (pp. West Lynn.+ Mystics Quarterly The prior appointed the parish priest.hewas given assistance in troublewith thediocesan authorities (App. visit them. Margery Kempe's book familiarity no nunneries nuns with these writings.17 He was Margery Kempe's parish priest at the timewhen she was firstdrawn to the He was her "sharp" confessor religious life.

her visionary and penitential lifehad already started.After examination by Bishop Spenser ofNorwich he publicly recanted in thegraveyard of theChapel of St James in Lynn on 25May 1399.20 The Lynn Corpus Christi Guild founded in response to the plague outbreak of 1349 included both Brunhams and Kempes in its membership (App.I.23 By this time Margery Kempe was inher late twenties. On thisday theBlessed Sacrament was also carried in solemn procession through the town. as through other major towns. daughter would have been likely to receive at least elementary education in the late fourteenth century. There are records of religious drama in Lynn from the fourteenth century. It is recorded inher book that Margery Kempe visited the shrine at Walsingham on herway to Ipswich. 321-322). theGuild of StWilliam.24 scholars inLynn. 365-366). only tobe charged again Hospital of St John. In 1385. the first when he first aroused the wrath of theecclesiastical authorities.21 At least century. An affluent London an image of the child StWilliam in a tabernacle in StMargaret's Church. The Lynn Candlemas Guild probably presented an annual re-enactment of the Presentation and Purification of the Blessed Virgin. pp. although William Lollard tobe burnt forheresy. theLynn chamberlains paid 3s 4d toplayers foran interlude played on Corpus Christi day. There are no records regarding the education of girls and women.26 There is no evidence of such 17 This content downloaded on Fri. pp. at the startof her journey to the Baltic in 1433 (227/18-29). and brought before Archbishop Arundel for renewed heretical preaching (note on 149/1-2. merchant's Little is known of education in Lynn outside the religious houses. In London there are records of female apprentices tomistresses in the clothing trades. embroidery and haberdashery. in addition to a para-liturgical Candlemas procession.when Margery Kempe was about twelve years old.III.+ Vol 25. March/June 1999 an upper storey and peepholes down to the altar.25but there is no evidence to confirm this. and on the following day in the chapel of the After thishe moved toLondon. The possibility that a long unconfessed sin of her youth was associated with Lollard heresy cannot be discounted. in silk. and it may have included girls.5. founded in 1388 to maintain and keep apprenticeships in latemedieval Lynn.22 twelve plays were regularly performed in Norwich by the end of the fourteenth There isno evidence ofwidespread religious dissent inLynn. in 1401. and there is evidence of schooling in There was a guild of literacy forgirls in thehome as well as practical training. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .M/2.had been a priest inLynn Sawtry.

the other abjurations are preceded by statements to the effectthat thedefendant. 359). living at the hub of commercial religious. KEMPE'S i373-*393 FAMILY BACKGROUND AND EARLY Margery Kempe's early years seem to have followed the norm for a wealthy merchant's daughter in late fourteenth-century Lynn.+ Mystics Quarterly Records of theNorwich Lollard heresy trials of 1428-1431 suggest that literacy levels among the Norfolk laity. trade and travel.. with their largeNorfolk estates. Even the letter-writing Paston women. This content downloaded on Fri. and social. she was born around 1373..28 against themwas that of reading scriptural texts in English. and it is known thathe was a was admitted to theHoly TrinityGuild in 1353 by Margery Kempe's father. If this is correct. were low.II. and ifher estimate of her age is accurate. scribes being available in the towns towrite when necessary. since one of the charges brought socially normal. John Brunham.While Cavell's abjuration his sight appears inLatin.at least among the suspected Lollards. religious and commercial competitiveness. or not completely. the fact that the court accepted their statements suggests that a plea of illiteracywas entirely credible.. virtue of birth without payment (App.. employed amanuenses for the most part.29 In fourteenth-century 18 burgess. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . appointed a cleric to read itforhim. unable to read because he was a layman or because was poor.III. activity. pp. since his son. In themercantile class it seems that the absence ofwriting skillswas MARGERY YEARS. 346-348). literate". It is mentioned that shewas about sixtyyears old when she travelled to the Baltic: was gretmerueyl & myracle {3ata woman dys-ewsyd of goyng It & also abowtyn iii scor 3er of age xuld enduryn cotidianly to kepyn hir jurney & hir pase wyth a man fryke& lusty to gon (234/17-21) Ithas been argued that this journey took place in 1433 (note on 237/34-37. theothers are inEnglish. read his own abjuration: ". Of the sixty defendants in theNorwich trialsonly one. and "were not."27While it may have been expedient for the defendants to plead inability to read. p.l. thepriest Robert Cavell. in an atmosphere of keen The approximate date of her birth can be inferred from an incidental remark towards the end of thebook. a member of the class of potentiores. Her paternal grandfatherwas Ralph de Brunham.

30 Margery Kempe's father is often referred to as John Brunham senior.2-8. in connection very early fifteenth bustle of traders and travellers and pilgrims fromhome and abroad. towards with property in Stonegate. (App. In Lynn it 'de' to precede the place-name in such family names. close to parish church and priory. of fur. John Brunham senior's name occurs in late fourteenthand centurydocuments in connection with property inBridgegate (now High Street) which runs north from St Margaret's Church and Saturday Market. and his son. III. chamberlain. 359-361).1377.Margery Kempe's brother.il. such as timber. in 1375. and imports in rawmaterials. JohnBrunham juniorwas admitted to theHoly TrinityGuild by virtue of birth in 1394. A John Brunham was fined for obstructing the Tuesday market with timber. pp. pp. 361). shortly afterhis sister's marriage to JohnKempe. The locations are close to one another. (App.III. John Brunham A junior.1385. as JohnBrunham junior. 361-362). 1378. #1/2. coroner and justice of thepeace (App. and Saturday Market. less frequently (de) was common practice until the late fourteenth century for Burnham.1391). JohnBrunham Kempe's childhood. 11.33 His name is also mentioned.II.II. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . family association with hosiery. John Brunham senior held office at different times as mayor (elected on Michaelmas Day 1370. particularly from theBaltic and Scandinavia. with its constant An earlier JohnBrunham numbered among the friars in theCarmelite Friary at Lynn in 1377 and 1378was probably a relative.35There is a furtherrecord of a John Brunham who was parson ofWood Dalling and had property in Lynn 19 This content downloaded on Fri.31Since JohnBrunham senior is known to have died between 19 December 1412 and 16 October 1413 as hosier in records of the Brunham listed John p. less frequently. Like other affluent senior probably traded in exports ofwares such as cloth and wool. March/June 1999 records the family name is usually spelt (de) Brunham. chamberlains' imports accounts in 1412-141332 was probably his son. member of parliament (elected on six occasions between 1364 and 1384). presumably unloaded at thenearby quay. It seems likely that during Margery Kempe's childhood the familyhome was theBridgegate rather than theStonegate property.34 The Bridgegate property belonged afterhis death tohis son Tuesday Market. Three of his terms of office as mayor and four terms asmember of parliament fellduring Margery merchants in the town. alderman of theHoly TrinityGuild ofMerchants. a hundred yards or so from thewaterfront.may have encouraged the competitive love of fine attire and for which Margery Kempe reproaches herself as a young married woman (9/9-18). II. III. and with exports of cloth and wool. which runs south from thevicinity of St Margaret's towardsMillfleet.+ Vol 25.

III. perhaps cousin ofMargery Kempe. in 1408 claims that anchors. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . who was mayor and alderman on several occasions in the early fifteenthcentury. pp.III. who let property in Lynn on a 100 who Another burgess likely to have been amember of the same year lease in 1407.2.44 A John Kempe. III. had property in John Brunham senior and JohnKempe senior both opposed the granting of privileges to theChapel of StNicholas in 1378 (App.37 Brunham was admitted to the freedom of the town in 1383-84. John Kempe junior was elected to theMagna Jurata in Lynn inOctober 1395. apprentice of JohnBrunham senior and perhaps a family younger brother.who became a freeman in 1358-59.Mystics Quarterly A Reginald de Brunham. close to the JohnBrunham tenement (App. This is probably the same Thomas Brunham who was involved in controversy in 1414 over an apprentice fled to London after making accusations against him. 366-368). who was 20 This content downloaded on Fri. enrolled in 1341.III.43 Simon Kempe. ropes. Bridgegate.IIL6. and he was elected as one of four sub-collectors of a tithe for the king in 1374 (App. was presumably JohnKempe junior. brother of JohnKempe junior. p. JohnKempe senior was an importerand exporter. was more prominent in the town thanwas JohnBrunham junior. the probable year of JohnKempe junior and Margery Kempe's marriage a skinner by trade.4. but fined in 1403-1404 and 1404-1405 for forestalling the assize of beer and forfilling the common fleetwith dung.were cut away and stolen at the in Norway by the Prussian Nicholas Wapull. and (App.1-2.He was a vintner. Neither he nor his sons became freemen by birth.40 There was another Robert Brunham. replaced before the electoral year was out. brewer. Prior of Holy TrinityNorwich. including Robert Brunham.36 A Laurence and executor in thewill of Robert de Gousele. 362-363). p. Thomas Brunham an court and filed a suit offidei lesioagainst the in himself ecclesiastical purged apprentice Kent. isnamed as legatee conveyed tohim in 1341.III. pp.Margery Kempe's husband (App. John Kempe seniorwas elected as one of four chamberlains inLynn in 1372 and again in 1381.VII.111. 364).38 The Robert Brunham.39and also an exporter A certificateaddressed to the Master General of theTeutonic Order and importer. chaplain.pp.111. III. as did JohnKempe junior and his elder brother Simon in 1393. and chains securing vessels of four Lynn Malstrom merchants. 363).Grievances of English merchants against thePrussians in 1388 include two claims by John Kempe forcompensation forgoods detained in Prussia.41 is Thomas Brunham.42 JohnKempe senior paid 40 shillings foradmission to theHoly TrinityGuild of Merchants in 1351. 372-373).

with the rhythms and seasons of the church. so it ispossible that this Isabelle was Margery Kempe's mother. Margery Kempe's mother ismentioned only once in the book. means She was instructed in the importance of penitence and confession.48The largerhouseholds had their own brewery and bakery. the Joys and Sorrows of the Virgin. including indulgences.Vol 25.45 Some of the Brunham and Kempe women may have been involved in their own or theirmenfolk's commercial enterprises. Her familiarity as a young adult with liturgical and biblical texts. all dedicatees of churches. such as pictures and sculptures of the Passion. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . she became familiar with visual what she heard. with dwelling-house. 9-11). would hardly have been possible without extensive with devotional and mystical texts from an religious guidance and familiarity early age.50 When Margery Kempe's visionary lifebegan. shewatched thedramatic ritual of themass and the feasts of the church. oftenwith shop and separate kitchen. Mystical texts and narratives of lives of holy women were spread throughout Europe by the friars. St Margaret. The Lynn merchant's property customarily provided both home and workplace. and committed tomemory much of devotional literature inEnglish. the Seven Deadly Sins.47The date makes Documentary evidence of Brunham and Kempe women is sparse.46An Alice Kempe was she was fined for forestalling the assize of fish in 1333. thepattern of her experiences fell into the penitential tradition associated with the holy women of the Low Countries. #2/2. priory. and the of obtaining absolution.49 she heard sermons delivered by priests and friars. saints. and thenmerely in the listing of those whom she forsook during the course of her post-natal derangement (7/32). the lives of saints. Germany and Sweden. The revelations that Margery Kempe experienced fromyoung adulthood suggest that she received in childhood a thorough and orthodox education in the tenets of the church. She was brought up tovenerate and celebrate theTrinity and the Blessed Virgin. and also StMary Magdalen. hospitals and nunneries in Lynn and the surrounding areas. An Isabelle de Brunham ismentioned in the codicil of a was still alive and her Lynn will of 1410. particularly by the Franciscans. quay and warehouse. including English renderings of the revelations of St Bridget of Sweden. March/June 1999 mother could have been. atwhich time Margery Kempe's father itpossible that themother of John Kempe senior. and the virgin and St Barbara. St Katharine of Alexandria St John the Baptist. and with the growing representations. It is likely that Margery Kempe had had experience of brewing and baking in thehome when she set up her unsuccessful adult ventures as brewer and miller in the early years of hermarriage (pp. a tradition rooted in visualisation and 21 This content downloaded on Fri.

and may well have of thenative English penitential tradition. she. Lynn. and the mystery plays. and declarations of love and forgiveness. for edifying predilection forwords for the written word. as she listened tohim reading manuscript. from theAncreneWisse through to popular late-medieval texts such as the Chastising ofGod's Children. encouraged her habitual visualisation of biblical and apocryphal scenes. it ismentioned that a priest read edifying texts to her 22 This content downloaded on Fri. Ithas been said that Margery Kempe "virtually had to prove herself a non-reader when her knowledge of gospel made the authorities inYork suspect her as a Lollard". In terms Given Margery Kempe's conversation. such as the However. on the whatever reading ability shemay have had. and above all for verbal revelations of thedivine . dialogue with God and the saints. or by rememberingwhat she had said as evidence that she in been adduced Two the book have (5/10-12). or her confessors or amanuenses. passages could not read.Nicholas Love's Mirror of theBlessed Life of JesusChrist. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Firstly.for repartee. and by the learning and interestsof visionary and scholarly friars in Dominican anchorite confessor and theCarmelite Master Alan. where there was may have found it expedient to emphasise her orthodox dependence priesthood for transmission of the written word.+ Mystics Quarterly meditative re-enactment of the lifeand death of Christ. the second amanuensis had written and shewas sometimes able tohelp read aloud toherwhat the first but it isnot clearwhether she helped by reading the when itcame to a difficulty. the sorrows and joys of the Blessed Virgin.53 In preparing to redraft the early version of her book.52Although there isno mention of the play cycles inMargery Kempe's book.51 That her visionary life developed in amanner frequentlyfound in the lives of continentalwomen in the late fourteenthand early fifteenth century can be explained. early familiaritywith plays and processions may well have contributed to the importance attached to events that happened on or close to the feast of Corpus Christi. for sermons. what remains exceptional in the case ofMargery Kempe is that a laywoman of her class and background should have become so forceful an exponent of it. and to minimise a risk of charges of heresy. .itseems surprising that the tutelage of learnedmen in As in other cases Lynn over many years did not lead to her becoming literate. in part at least.which was a translation of the pseudo-Bonaventuran Meditationes Vitae Christi licensed byArchbishop Thomas Arundel around 1410. by the strong links between Lynn and the continent. a closely related tradition of penitential contemplation and "devout imagination" can also be traced in England.

the instructionwas that she was to have the letter written. in a dream an angel childwas required to show her thather name was written in the Book of Life at the footof theTrinity (206/33-207/3).54 More significantly.inone of Margery Kempe's revelations she hears theLord say thathe isnot displeased with her. The mention of thebook suggests that she could read. However.Even may have been an illustrated book of the type favoured by the laity at though it the time that could convey its message chiefly through pictures. The contrastmade between reading and being read to suggests that she was able to read as well as listen. The priest may have been providing commentary as well as reading. and she goes on to recount how amaster of divinity wrote it: Than owyr Lord bad pis creatur don wryten a lettyr & send ithir. (45/16-19) 23 This content downloaded on Fri. 142-144). reading or being read to (218/4-8). theevidence of thebook isunambiguous. A maystyr of dyuynite wrot a lettyrat pe request of pis creatur& sent tope wedow wyth pese clawsys pat folwyn . Most importantly. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . at least a little. His the priest. n/2.March/June over a period of seven or eight years (pp. With regard toher lack ofwriting skills. this does not rule out the possibility that she was able to read herself. Earlier evidence of her reliance on others is was was revealed toher that a letter found in accounts of letter-writing. a dream sequence with a Book of Life in which innumerable names may have been inscribed cannot was reading included "pe Bybyl with doctowrys ?er-up-on" (143/26-27). there be regarded as strong evidence foror against the dreamer's ability to read. rather than simply reading.. He may also have been rendering Latin versions of the texts into the vernacular. Two passages in thebook have been adduced as evidence that she could in fact read. she was entirely dependent on amanuenses for the actual writing of both versions of her book. 1407-1409.. and not Margery Kempe.whether she ispraying with hermouth or thinking with her heart. it is recorded that shewas kneeling at her prayers and holding her book inher hand when a stone fellon her back in StMargaret's Church (21/22 25). it is likely that a pious and frequent church-goer's familiarity with such books encouraged some basic skills in reading. since she knew no language other than English (82/17-18). It is certain that she could not have understood Latin texts. Firstly.. Since reading theBible in thevernacular was forbidden to the laityby theConstitutions was good reason to emphasise that it ofArchbishop Arundel.1999 Vol 25. However. Secondly. When it to be sent to a doubting widow. who was the reader.

requesting thathe fetchher home. 366-367).mentioned in several deeds. Some aspects of may be attributed to the second amanuensis. half-way between Saturday Market and Tuesday Market. It is very likely that thisproperty inFincham Streetwas was not inferior to that of her brother as hosier. or coroner. along Purfleet in an easterly direction (App. member of parliament. justice of thepeace.Mystics Quarterly When. and to the ultimately genesis of her own book. Their social background was similar. 1393-1413 the perceived differences in social standing. on reaching Leicester on the return journey from her pilgrimage to Compostella. alderman. but also highly textualised.III. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . scriptural commentary.154/13). As a young wife she taunts her husband with his inferior standing (9/18-25). homilies and lives of saints. she asked a companion towrite the letter forher (111/ 20-22). and records that her husband Margery Kempe as an old woman she recalls her inordinate love forhis person in youth (181/ brief termof office only. Evidence of this ranges from her quick-witted skill in calling on textual authority in dialogue and debate to the memorising and recounting of biblical and other stories.Whatever 10-12).55 But biblical material in particular is an integral part of her own daily life and her visions. MARRIAGE AND CONVERSION TO RELIGIOUS LIFE. there is no doubt that the Margery Kempe presented in thebook was not only accounts tobelieve in the authenticity ofMargery Kempe's visions (153/1. as her was. wrot in "|>an wrot sehe letterystohym" is intended presumably in a causative sense (224/29-31). When she sent letters toher son. with its reliance on the authority of the uneducated she may have been with regard to reading and writing. and his trade as brewer theKempes' home for the firsttwenty-five 24 This content downloaded on Fri. devotional treatises. However skilful in speaking and listening. A tenement of John Kempe inLynn. of revelations.which ran from the end of Bridgegate.IIL6. such as references intertextuality to the lives ofMarie d'Oignies and St Elizabeth ofHungary which helped him scriptures. pp. John father Magna Jurata resulted in a Kempe junior's own election to the The marriage of JohnandMargery Kempe tookplace when shewas about twenty years old (6/25-27). was always good toher (32/26). shewished to send amessage toher husband inLynn. was inFincham Street alias Burghard's Lane (now New Conduit Street). but her father-in-lawwas not mayor. liturgical texts.

There is no obvious reason for an earlier opportunity for confession. unsuccessfully.On the forgiveness tobe concealed.a little later in thebook. A and. sehe to gan brewyn & was on of pe grettestbrewers in the townN. but was drawn again to the world. the execution of Sir John Oldcastle at the end of the year and asked why she had deserted him (p.when she was inher teens. to fineryand to competition with neighbours (p.l. the late 1420s. ultimately forgiven. but was deterred by the haste of the priest. March/June 1999 which time they lived apart until his infirmityin married life. for sehe had neuyr vre ?>erto. She endeavoured tobe God's servant. literally to any association with Lollardy once the stringentmeasures had been taken which led to such events as the burning ofWilliam Sawtry at the beginning of the fifteenth 1417 inwhich Margery Kempe was herself most frequently examined by ecclesiastical authorities. Commentators have surmised that thisunconfessed sin is likely tohave whole the latter seems been associated with sexuality or Lollard heresy. and followed by subsequent commentators and translators): And than. She had good servants and knew about brewing. Sins of sexual temptation fit into the common confessional and penitential framework and are freelyadmitted to.+ Vol 25. 9).after years of their old age (pp. of Margery Kempe was severely illpreceding and following thebirth of the first her fourteen children (pp. for pure coveytyse & for tomaynten hir pride. 179-181). penitence and associated with post-partum psychosis. 6-8). as brewer and miller (pp. Christ appeared toher inpurple silk. would have become increasingly damaging as theyears passed.when the first After half-a-year. eight weeks and odd days of post-natal sickness and derangement. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and wished to receive absolution and confess a previously unconfessed sin of youth. 9-11). 'experience practice' (the gloss given p. The symptoms described in thebook have been more probable. 8). could have been was But it could have to admit been fatal occurred. and theNorwich heresy trials which took place from draft of her book was being written. Association with Lollard heresy on the other hand. century. col. and her husband aided her recovery.The context makes itclear thatvre (9/33)means or rather than Tuck'. #2/2. At the time of her firstchild's birth she believed thatshewas close todeath. 436. so vigorously denied whenever Margery Kempe was under ecclesiastical examination. and attributed her failure tobad luck. if it lapse during the 1380s. 25 This content downloaded on Fri. Her wits returned. sitting at the end of her bed. a iij or 3er iiij tyl sehe lostmech good. In ways of the her attachment to worldly goods she set up inbusiness.

The gift of holy tears formed a strong and continuing link with a distinctive tradition of affectivepiety (31 /3n. She purchased indulgences on behalf of herself and others in the various places of pilgrimage that she visited. probably in 1410. After this she sobbed with longing for thebliss of heaven when she heard anymirth ormelody.often in chapels or churches. In thepre-Christmas vision of 1410 she heard that her sins were forgiven. (9/30-35) brewyng. 12). The Dominican anchorite confirmed the divine origin of her visions.Many of her extended revelations occurred on Fridays. were followed by threeyears of temptation. yet it Several years after the vision of Christ in purple silk she heard a sound of heavenly melody one night as she lay in bed with her husband. 16-18). she would never enter hell or purgatory. 17-18).but at other times shewas tempted by sins of by her tempter. she should receive theBlessed Sacrament every Sunday. lechery and despair.and blamed herself (pp. Conjugal relations became abhorrent to her. 11). and tell him of these revelations (pp. she should spend more time inmeditation and less time in vocal prayer. her confessor. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . she nevertheless took every opportunity to obtain renewed assurances of the certainty of forgiveness and bliss inheaven. She continued tobear children. but was rejected before thegreat festivals. Miss of heaven. and aroused thehostility of neighbours spoke frequently of the who said she had no more knowledge of heaven than theyhad (p. and undertook penance (p. she should call Christ her love. shewould never be forsaken even The period of penitence alternatingwith temptation ended with the first ofmany extended visionary colloquies with Christ.Mystics Quarterly For. shewent to confession two or three times a day. and she should go to theDominican anchorite. nurturing. 12-16). Revelations followed inwhich Margery Kempe participated in the re-enactment of biblical and apocryphal birthing. It took place in theChapel of St John in StMargaret's Church on a Friday before Christmas (pp. since it seems to pre-date by threeyears her departure for theHoly Land in 1413. 194/5n). days of fasting. thow sehe had neuyr so good seruawntys & cunnyng in wold neuyr preuyn wyth hem. she should not eat meat. caring. though shewould be reviled by thepeople. 26 This content downloaded on Fri. shewould be given grace to answer every clerk. Assured of forgiveness. She was tempted to commit adultery. Her kindred and thosewho had been her friends became her worst enemies (2/14-16). during Two years of penitential life which time she followed the instructionsof her confessor and was granted daily two hours of compunction and tears. Passion and Compassion.

27 This content downloaded on Fri. and thather father and husband and children would also be with her inheaven.mockery. prayer.was tobe repeated many times. she her named assured thather wish would be granted. Asked whom shewould choose tohave with her. and prophesied that a broken-backed man would help her when everyone else turned against her (pp. Richard ofCaister. She was tohim and tellhim of her revelations.He accompanied herwhen shewas summoned to appear before the Bishop ofNorwich (40/20-28). confession. William Sowthfeld. Robert Spryngolde.57 The cycle of revelation. from . Vicar of St Stephen's. and gave her encouragement. She named Christ as her true executor (pp. Comparison between her statementsmade under examination. with whom she spent several days.or townspeople. who was convicted of Lollardy in the Norwich heresy trialsof 1428-1431.Accusations ofhypocrisy. but sometimes also by the highly placed or highly born. The Dominican anchorite in Lynn foretold troubles that she would have on pilgrimage to theHoly Land.Vol 25. Then she should go to theCarmelite friar. reassurance given by confessors and spiritual advisers. for instance before the Archbishop of York (pp. and revilement. rather than her family. and the statements of her contemporary Margery Baxter. on idols and pilgrimages and indulgences. and toDame JulianofNorwich. was revealed that she should Towards the end of her years of child-bearing. eucharist. it Norwich. and towards swearers of oaths.inparticular of teaching and preaching. Hostility was expressed most frequentlyby lesser clergy or On an occasion later than the extended colloquy with Christ. immorality. March/June 1999 friars. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . to the end of her life. 40-44). but other people maligned her. #2/2. it sitwith Christ inheaven.William Sowthfeld and JulianofNorwich strengthened Margery Kempe's belief in thedivine origin of her visions (pp. but before the was revealed toher by theBlessed Virgin that shewould of years pilgrimage. confirmation and matrimony. and make confession go to parish priest. and taken up by the people. which women and Lollard heresy .leading others astray. No mention is made of her mother. until his death in 1420. penitence. 20-21).were uttered were explicitly debarred from theearly fifteenth century by clerics in the misogynist tradition. especially women. although she shared with the Lollards a critical stance towards priests perceived tobe falling short of theirprofessed ideals and duties.56 shows rather thanLollard views on the sacraments that held orthodox Margery Kempe of baptism. 123-128). 43-44). toRichard ofCaister. Whenever shewas in Norwich after thisRichard was of Caister her confessor.

the situation of the English merchant's wife difficulties. On the Friday beforeMidsummer's Eve 1413. may have furnished her with the financial means to settle debts and to travel. 21). would give up fasting on Fridays and eat with him. This is the first routes taken by St Bridget. on the way fromYork to Bridlington. On her return Bridget inRome. 47). From the Wednesday in Easter week her husband had no power to touch her (p. and that St Bridget never saw of several references in thebook to St Christ in this way (p. St Bridget died in theprobable year of birth. said it Earlier in the same year she had learnt in answer toprayers forchastity that she must faston Fridays. 21-22). Her father JohnBrunham's death. Margery Kempe sought out the saint's old maidservant inRome. 28 This content downloaded on Fri. Ithas even been suggested thather pilgrimage routes reproduced the weighing six pounds fellonto her back and her head from the highest point of the church vaulting. the chamber in from the Baltic she visited theBrigittine Syon Abbey. shortlybeforeMargery Kempe's marriage. whose order enjoyed royal backing and exceptional status in England (while being severely criticised at several Councils in the early fifteenth was fraught with century). On the Friday beforeWhitsun in theyear when she set out on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. she was kneeling atMass in StMargaret's Church. when a stone weighing three pounds and a piece ofwood which the saint died (95/11-29). she learnt that the instruction to faston Fridays had been given for thisvery purpose. to obtain indulgences (pp.II. beating Revelationswould be made known through her. John and Margery Kempe struck a bargain. which occurred by October 1413 (App. and she visited a chapel of St she saw the sacrament shake and flicker like a dove was revealed to her that the truth of St Bridget's it its and wings.58 Yet however much she may have emulated the Swedish saint.+ Mystics Quarterly On one occasion atMass Margery Kempe's Bridget and herwritings. pp. with her book in her hand. namely to enable her to procure the chastity she desired by letting itgo (pp.il. 23-25). He as previously on agreed tovows of chastity condition thatshewould share his bed (which is not referred to again). The burgess John of Wyreham and theCarmelite Alan of Lynn regarded thisas amiracle. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 361-362). some others was a token ofwrath (pp. and pay his debts before going to the Holy Land. who had been miraculously cured some sixty years previously.III. 1373. and was canonised in 1391. Turning aside and praying toGod in a field. After a shortwhile she feltno pain. 1413. 245-246).

for much of the time.33-37). the vow of chastity was made and she This content downloaded on Fri.They went fromLynn northwards toYorkshire. the Kempes went together to take oaths of chastity before Bishop Repingdon of Lincoln. 36-37). Archbishop of Canterbury. They probably travelled southwards via Ely and Cambridge.and he said that as shewas not of his diocese she should make her request to Thomas Arundel. of the routes taken. a route used byMargery Kempe in a southerly direction on a later occasion. interspersedwith works of mercy whenever opportunities 29 arose. He gave her leave to choose her confessor. 33-36). with burning as a Lollard (pp. They probably travelled northwards throughLincolnshire and across Archbishop ofYork in 1417 (pp. On one occasion during these early travels an old monk inCanterbury wished that Margery Kempe were enclosed in a house of stone. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . professing a lifeof world. 27-29. After the agreement struck on the road between York and Bridlington. the route taken laterby both Kempes towards the end went toLondon forher to obtain letterand seal from of theyear 1417when they the Kempes' journey Archbishop ofCanterbury (pp. and south toLondon and Kent. 136-137). after several repetitions of the instruction. and thenby townspeople. on the return journey from Jerusalem. She was received by the archbishop at Lambeth. and he gave her the reassurance that she sought regarding the divine source of her visions and her tears (pp. that is to say. to become a vowess. She was threatened by monks. or. However. particularly with regard to the did succeed in adopting a secular lifeof penitence and prayer. profession as a vowess. There is no evidence that she ever made formal he may have associated with the continental sect of the Free Spirit. and said that she would go to the archbishop.prayer and piety while remaining in the clothed inwhite.59 and shewished tobe chastity. but not with these requests. on foot or on theHumber by ferrytoHessle. Margery Kempe wished tobe given Repingdon's faint-heartedness.#1/2. the see ofNorwich being vacant. and to receive communion every Sunday.which bishop expressed unease. John Kempe disappeared temporarily. 32). viewed as heretical60 . 121-136).+ 1999 Vol 25. The account of the fromYork to Bridlington suggests a leisurely pace of travel. She learntby revelation that she should wear white (p. March/June John Kempe was a faithfulcompanion tohiswife on her early travels inEngland. She was critical of themantle and the ring. After questioning her and consulting with his advisers. but she did not do so until she reached Rome. Repingdon gave her 26s 8d to buy clothing and to pray forhim (pp. No indication is given of their mode of travel. but it isnot clearwhether he had a prison or an anchorage inmind. the white clothing . following her arrests and appearances before the horseback.

At times thegiftofmoney was accompanied by a request that she should pray for the donor. and she was blamed forhis sickness both by him and by the citizens of Lynn. names no women. 60). 30 This content downloaded on Fri. She was very unusual in the may have financed her travels inpart by suchmeans. as well as laywomen. Nuns on pilgrimages.the only one of the fourteen children about whom any information is Danzig in the book given belongs chronologically to the period before his mother's was notwritten until 1438 (pp. 221-222). as documented by Roberto da Sanseverino. St Bridget's Revelations. Giovanni Butigella. 142-144). Margery Kempe visited his tomb inNorwich in order to give thanks for the recovery of the priest who had read to her for seven or eight years hence the probability that the reading began by 1413. 1413-1418 charitable giving. as in the case of Bishop Philip Repingdon. His subsequent reformbelongs to a laterperiod. included theBible and biblical commentaries. although it pilgrimage he was her firstchild he would have been nearly twentyyears old in 1413. If to Jerusalem. The texts It is possible that an account of the youth of theKempes' sonwho later lived in . shewas at once the subject and object of the spring voyage of 1458. Those who did make the lateMiddle Ages for travellingwith their husbands. and other didactic and mystical works frequently used in the early fifteenthcentury to stimulate the contemplative piety of the individual: Hilton's Ladder ofPerfection. which is dated 1420. or married women In the autumn of 1413Margery Kempe settled her own and her husband's debts.and set off for theHoly Land (p.61 On pilgrimage were usually nuns.Mystics Quarterly the Stimulus Amoris. Frequently short ofmoney on her travels. Anton Pelchinger.but inclined to give to thepoor whatever she received. an anonymous Dutch pilgrim. OF PILGRIMAGE ?ND ECCLESIASTICAL YEARS INVESTIGATION. She castigated him. A list of German pilgrims to theHoly Land. Vicar of St Stephen's Norwich. were subject to satirical and misogynist attack throughout the Middle Ages. perhaps with an inheritance fromher recently deceased father. Gabriele Capodilista. Not long after the death of Richard ofCaister. It women to travel to Jerusalem. and the IncendiumAmoris (pp. in the company of other nuns. namely theyears during which thepriest newly arrived inLynn read biblical and devotional texts to Margery Kempe. It is likely that a span of years referred to later in the book began before the travels to Jerusalem and Rome. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . he became sick. When he was a youth in Lynn his mother disapproved of his unchaste living. 1346-1588.

InConstance she received assistance from an English friar who was fromDevon who Constance papal legate. during thepilgrimage: theircutting of her skirt.64 Margery Kempe travelled in a small company of pilgrims byway ofNorwich to Yarmouth. in the autumn of 1413. or even ordered to return to street life?65In 1415 theCouncil ruled that only virgins and widows should be allowed to hold office in the monastery. formerprostitutes. may indicate that she took little interest in such matters. voyaging inpilgrim galleys. March/June 1999 were no women. The Council issues which have of 1414-1418 been of keen interest to Margery Kempe. A galley carrying 170 pilgrims required 140 persons for management and defence. with Margery Kempe One of the English delegates to theCouncil of Constance in 1415was a fierce opponent of Lollardy.62 The Jerusalem pilgrimages ofMargery andWilliam Wey.63From 1408 there compulsory defence of pilgrim galleys after attacks inwhich people had been killed.sometimes interpretedas indicative of alleged immorality. it (pp. or sold into slavery.more probably. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and Holy Land. except in its accounts of investigations ofMargery Kempe's own orthodoxy. must a man (pp.malnutrition and maltreatment of pilgrims by the captains of the vessels. there Wife of Bath are so well Kempe. including twenty crossbow men. St Bridget of Sweden and Chaucer's fictitious known that it is easy to overlook the exceptional fortitude and determination required ofwomen travelling across theAlps. On her later journey to the Baltic she was 31 This content downloaded on Fri. That the book scarcely touches on issues of religious and political controversy. was and made accompanied about her to Bologna to consider several the acquaintance of William Weaver.the alienation of hermaidservant. who had been present at the trials for heresy of John Badby and Sir JohnOldcastle. and thepilgrims' refusal to keep her in theircompany after reaching Constance. 61-63). The book describes in some detail thehostility of her fellow pilgrims. as Carmelite was probably he who instructed Alan of Lynn not to communicate Provincial. Ten years later. and from there toZierikzee inZealand (p. be debarred from office in themonastery. wounded. including thepriest appointed as her confessor. In 1417 steps were taken to prevent extortion. 60). where thepilgrimswere overseen facing thehardships of travel in the were Saracens. Thomas Netter. was legislation inVenice for the for instance in the year 1404.Vol 25. by Pilgrims captured in theHoly Land on numerous occasions. that she or her confessors or amanuenses felt it expedient that she should refrain from comment. #1/2. 168-170). or. such as the controversy over St Bridget and theBrigittineOrder: should the canonisation of St Bridget be confirmed? should the Brigittine penitentesof Danzig.

Arlberg. renowned for itsholy women and beguinages in the late Middle Ages. Pilgrims time to spare: time needed to be allowed for crossing theAlps and for further was often only one possible delays. across Landeck.ithas been surmised thatduring the was more probably intended as a sarcastic response to clerical questioning what weeks of isolation inVenice she bore a child. the route Bologna This content downloaded on Fri. probably early in 1414. both in the diocese of Liege. to and and there via Bludenz. Taking literally on her return to Norwich . 63-66). there in to made Venice. and then via the islands of Rhodes and Cyprus to Jaffa.69 William Wey's distance covered on horseback was about thirty route from Aachen from in 1462 led via Metz.regardingwhat she had done with the child begotten and born while shewas "out" (103/1-27) . Verona and Mirandola. distances. and Jerusalem. Kaltern. Meran. sources. there pilgrim galley a year sailing to Jaffa. Travellers stopped forfood and lodging in inns and hostelries in the towns. 32 Alps. From Venice the pilgrim galleys sailed along theDalmatian coast. A temporary reconciliation inVenice between Margery Kempe and her fellow pilgrims was followed by sixweeks of isolation because of her failure to adhere to an agreement not to speak of holy matters at table.70 The last part of the journey to the lagoon of Venice was necessarily by water. can be gained not from Margery Kempe's book but from other contemporary. although there were several other the and Venice was via Roveredo. or slightly later. and Schaffhausen toConstance. bedding. The average miles per day. since thepilgrims had purchase bedding and other equipment for the voyage.67 Information about the routes.68 The distance from theports ofNorthern France and theLow Countries toVenice was just over 1000miles. or in friaries.+ Mystics Quarterly the Hanse. and spent thirteen to in embarkation often arrived Venice with plenty of prior (pp. also travelling in a sense inNetter's footsteps: he had been sent as envoy to the King of Poland and to theGrand Master of the Teutonic Order in 1419. Favoured pilgrim routes from the ports led via Diest toAachen. routes Tramino toTrient. such as the pilgrim Itinerariesof William Wey. Again. Chiusa. modes of travel and lodgings along the way toVenice.66 and may well have been informed there of troubles between themen of Lynn and Margery Kempe were practical arrangements tobe the time of embarkation was uncertain. Basel. From Trient.Margery Kempe may well have followed this route. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the fact that this importantand well-known opponent isnever mentioned by name inMargery Kempe's book suggests caution rather than ignorance. Nauders. After embarkation therewere squabbles over ownership of arrived in Bologna before the other members of her earlier weeks inVenice pilgrim fellowship.

convulsions. Later it revealed toher once more that she should wear white. 67-75). inparticular theHoly Sepulchre Land centres in Jerusalem. cries. 79). but the slander of her earlier pilgrim company winter months 1414-1415. peregrinae ullulabant sociae nostrae et sorores et flebant . March/June 1999 Several pilgrim narratives dwell on the hardships of delays in disembarkation while arrangements were and the obligatory night spent in the caverns of Jaffa. while others viewed it From the account Her confessor inRome was a German priest. in addition to penitential weeping. pp. She was had been Dominican what foretold fulfilling by in Assisi for the feast of Lammas tide. and helped her also some months later was reduced tobegging (pp. 79. After an were able tounderstand one another initialperiod requiring an interpreter.Her ecstasy as she approached Jerusalem almost caused her to fall off her donkey (67/23-26)... mutual understanding as miraculous. She visited the former servant of St Bridget and the chapel dedicated to the saint. who instructed her to was revert towearing black rather thanwhite. A comparable instance of pious women visitors to theHoly Land shrieking as in childbirth is attested by Felix Fabri in the late fifteenthcentury: Super quasi omnes autem mulieres clamabant.93). and she obeyed him. On Mount Calvary she was overcome by the which penitential shrieks. whereas Margery Kempe's account of the three on thevisits made toholy places. way to the anchorite inLynn. Margery Kempe and some clerks regarded this with suspicion..+ Vol 25. On returning toVenice she was lefton her own. who helped her to when she complete the journey toRome.Wenslawe. Margaret Florentine. InRome she finally followed the instruction to put on white clothing. it seems that the pious dialogue was highly predictable on 33 given of an occasion when the mutual understanding was This content downloaded on Fri. a broken backed beggar from Irelandwho helped her along the Assisi and Rome. resulted inher being evicted over the although neither spoke theother's language and neither could understand other speakers of the other language. and leaden colouring of the face. for she was notorious during the ten years following. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .they tested by others. and he acceded. 288 weeks spent in theHoly 289). but found Richard. made for the final stages of the journey to Jerusalem (note on 67/9-10. and there she also made the acquaintance of a great lady. 1August 1414 (p. She was initially received at theHospital of St Thomas of Canterbury inRome.71 parturientes When her fellow pilgrims dissociated themselves fromher in the Holy Land she was helped by the Franciscan friarsofficiating there. and even by the Saracens (pp. #1/2.

in theChurch of the Apostles (pp. many years spent Kempe's Englishman both sides. could come about between theGermanic dialects of Norfolk and the Baltic. However. and they returned safely toNorwich via Middelburg inZealand. The fact that the first amanuensis of Margery an was in who had Baltic book. probably of 1417. 99-100). Richard thebroken begging. but not during her travels toDanzig. forsixteen years.wearing it for the firsttime on Trinity Sunday (104/3-26). Margery Kempe mentions difficulties of communication during her time in Italy. but was abused by the people of Lynn: some spat at her in horror of her cries and shrieks. suggests thathe came from theBaltic lands.72 She wished to go on pilgrimage to St James. where she became dangerously ill. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 86-87). lands. a flame of love burnt in her heart (88/28). Margery Kempe was welcomed by some and criticised or ostracised by others. and they returned to Lynn together. From this time. priest from England furnished her with themeans to return home. The name of the German priest inRome. it is possible that the trade links between Lynn and the Baltic enabled the trading families of Lynn to achieve an understanding at least said towrite neither good German nor good English (4/14-16) suggests that a fair degree of contamination. but did not have means until money was given to her (pp. on St JohnLateran's Day. There is no mention in thebook of the hostilities between England and France which were to culminate a few On her return to Norwich. Wenslawe.The priestwas fearfulof brigands on the way. Eventually a months later in thebattle ofAgincourt. serving thepoor. and afterborrowing money from backed man which she immediately gave away and undertook to repay two years later. Wilsnack and Aachen. She set out for sufficient in Whitsun week. she was invited back to theHospital of St Thomas. butMargery Kempe reassured him (pp.+ Mystics Quarterly of theGerman spoken along the Frisian and Baltic coast not shared by speakers fromother places and backgrounds. Her husband came toNorwich to meet her. She once more dressed in white clothing. After months of hardship. all ofwhich phenomena were familiar to theCarthusian monks ofMount Grace who annotated The Book of Margery Kempe and recognised them as signs of grace and holiness. and theremet Bristol on the Wednesday 34 This content downloaded on Fri.Compostella. poverty. and after Easter 1415 they set out on the return journey. convulsions and change of colour (105/18-24). She recovered. The focal point ofMargery Kempe's time inRome was the elaborate revelation ofmystical marriage toGod the Father. 105-106). 9 November 1414. and presumably also ofmutual understanding.

the 35 prison This content downloaded on Fri. Thomas Marshall and another on her account. evidence that any such After her return to Bristol she visited theHoly Blood ofHailes. but released after a terrible storm been mayor five times and alderman five burgess of Lynn. in thepresence ofmany canons. and also wife of a respected mayor of Leicester of being a false people. They feared thatshewould be burnt as a heretic. In Leicester the sight of a crucifix roused her to tears and cries. years earlier in a corrody of the Lynn friary. and was detained in the questioned was companion her and spoke put in strumpet. and asked her to visit him again. asking him to come and fetchher home. to his seat atHenbury. While Thomas Marshall was writing a letter forher to her husband in Lynn. On the Feast of theTrinity in 1456 the seven the included cardinals.74 There eighty an on impression Margery is no Kempe. and about thepomp and ceremony of theprocessions and celebrations witnessed in ministers atMass observed Compostella. The travellers reached Spain on the seventh day after leaving Bristol. shewas again abused for her cries and swooning. asked her to pray forhim. and a deceiver of the jailor's house. She was brought before theabbot of Leicester and thedean of Leicester. the dean. possibly theCarmelite friarof thatname listed forty time The bishop treated her kindly. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . she was summoned before themayor of Leicester. Before embarking she was summoned before the Bishop ofWorcester. March/June and repaid her debt of two years earlier toRichard thebroken-backed man (106/ 21-25). a Lollard.#1/2. five by Wey archbishop. three miles north of Bristol. stayed there fourteen days. He invited her to eat with him.+ 1999 Vol 25. the cantor. The steward of Leicester lewdly to her. archdeacons magnificence and made canons. Gloucestershire. and went from there toLeicester. and returned in fivedays. in contemplation of thePassion. Waiting sixweeks inBristol fora ship toSpain. but was assisted by a Thomas Marshall who gave her money and accompanied her on thepilgrimage toCompostella. The bishop at this was Thomas Peverel. All that is told in thebook of the fourteen days spent in Spain is that Margery Kempe experienced many great cries there.73 saying thathe knew well enough that shewas thedaughter of JohnBrunham of Lynn. gave her gold and his blessing. and plenteous tears of compassion (110/29-32). friarsand priests. Once more it is from the records of other pilgrim travellers such as William Wey that informationmay be gleaned about pilgrim itineraries. She was accused by the were interpreted as a token of divine wrath at their imprisonment. and toLeicester after their return from thepilgrimage. In answer to his questions she asserted that she was daughter of a respected burgess of Lynn who had years.

Examined by the abbot and his assessors. He was re-captured late in 1417. His name became associated with treason. The Duke of Bedford's men maintained thatshewas "Combomis dowtyr". insisted that she should obtain a letter from the Bishop of Lincoln discharging him of responsibility forher. However. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . hanged and burnt on 14December 1417 (note on 132/12-14. that is. 316). at his seat atCawood. In a latervision St Paul apologised to her for the trouble he had caused her by forbiddingwomen to preach (160/27-29). From Leicester she proceeded toYork. including an anchoress who had previously been well disposed towards her. and thenby Henry Bowet. Margery Kempe was arrested by twomen of theDuke of Bedford and taken back to Beverley. The archbishop paid one of his men five shillings to accompany her to Bridlington so that she could visit a former confessor. 111-119).while shewas revered and supported by others. she answered all questions to their satisfaction.with plots on the This content downloaded on Fri. this time in the chapter house in Beverley. In all shewas delayed at Leicester for three weeks (pp. p. 123-124).She defended herself against a charge of preaching.but escaped from theTower on 19 October 1413. probably not long after Margery Kempe's appearance before theArchbishop of York in Beverley. She was brought once more before theArchbishop ofYork. Initially the archbishop questioned clothing and pronounced her a heretic. and were about to cross the Humber. and then to conduct her out of his diocese (pp. Oldcastle had been pronounced a heretic by Archbishop Arundel of Canterbury on 25 September 1413. themayor. but required that she obtain letterand seal from theArchbishop of Canterbury. saying that she came in no pulpit. mistrustful in particular of her white clothing and suspecting that she intended to take away the citizens' wives. The Archbishop of York once more found no fault inMargery Kempe.was handed over to the secular authority.Mystics Quarterly mayor. 119 128). Women ran out of theirhouses clamouring forher tobe burnt as a heretic. When they reached Hessle. follower of theLollard lifeof King Henry V. and townspeople. where his retainers called her a Lollard and heretic her sharply about her white subsequently he was satisfied and said she should be burnt (pp. with no further mention of the letter to her husband in Lynn asking him to come and fetchher. but with her answers regarding the articles of the faith. and the abbot and dean of Leicester subsequently supported her. A Dominican friarspoke against her. She was examined on her faithby a priest inYork. 36 knight Sir JohnOldcastle also known as Lord Cobham. Archbishop ofYork.which she did. Once more she was scorned by some people. and was drawn.

Some priests and friarsregarded her as a holywoman. 144-146). #1/2. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 170-172). FIRST DRAFT OF I OF THE BOOK OF MARGERY KEMPE. on a visit to Lynn. and were arrested three were well received there. Her weeping and were so intensewhen she saw crying the Blessed Sacrament or listened to were timeswhen she was excluded from church or there chapel (see especially pp. but released on production of the archbishop's 128-137). 164 37 This content downloaded on Fri. She travelled via Lincoln to to travelled London. 162-164).where her husband Archbishop ofYork. She was given prophetic knowledge of who would be saved and who would be damned. and She obtained Archbishop joined her. and of uncertainty in the relationships between ecclesiastical local and national authorities. readings or sermons on the Passion that In 1421 a great fire inLynn destroyed the Guildhall belonging to the Holy Trinity Guild ofMerchants. in the years leading up to 1422 (pp. may be attributed to the intense nervousness of the ecclesiastical and secular authorities during themonths Oldcastle's re-capture and execution. was saved by a miraculous snowfall which some attributed toMargery Kempe's prayers (pp. York. and their movements. Because she did not readily accept such revelatory knowledge shewas punished with twelve days of lewd thoughts (pp.Vol 25. March/June 1999 When Margery Kempe had crossed theHumber she was again arrested as a Lollard. Leicester. however. She was given foreknowledge of appointments of priors toLynn. 137-140). and secular. together they Chichele's letterand seal. and questioned. 1418-1431 After her return toLynnMargery Kempe was afflicted with various illnesses for a period of eight years. The loud cries thathad begun when she visited the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in 1414 continued in all fora period of tenyears (pp. and threatened the churchwhich. but released on the testimony of a man who had seen her before the miles south of Ely. and notwith comparable severity at other times.75 The repeated arrests and preceding examinations are evidence of the unease in the country at the time. in Bristol. On the return journey toLynn they letter (pp. Cawood and Beverley in the latterpart of the year 1417. 154-156). and even Bishop Wakering ofNorwich. tolerated her cries during his sermon (pp. The fact thatMargery Kempe was several times arrested. West Lynn. The Kempes remained for some time inLondon. as also between PIETY LIBER AND WORKS OF MERCY IN LYNN.

However.77 It was revealed to her that shewould speak with Master Alan again. the significance of the gift of the pair of knives. She comforted and prayed for the sick and the dying. 168-170. By contrast.. 179-181). a famous Franciscan preacher. and was given leave by her confessor to kiss female lepers. who maintained that the Kempes relations in spite of theirvows (pp. as for instance in the list of items as suitable gifts forholy men in theAncreneWisse. p. 328).78 recommended Margery Kempe performed works of spiritual and corporal mercy inLynn. She assisted in the cure of a woman suffering which she herself frompost-natal derangement comparable to the sickness from had sufferedmany years before (pp. 177-179). and was one of the turpitude against the order of law and nature" were particularly vehement. Gifts of knives are frequently associated in medieval and later timeswith bad and the of betoken luck. there are also instances of positive associations with gifts of knives inmedieval texts. as theyhad done before. betokening that they would fighttogetheronce more inGod's cause. and notes). note on 168/5. Hostile individuals are not identified by name in thebook. They met again at thehouse of a vowess inLynn (pp. and thathe would recover from a sudden severe illness. and that she under Lynn There was a period at some time between 1422 and 1425 during which Master Alan was forbidden by theCarmelite Provincial to speak with her. Even the Franciscan friar would have tolerated her cries and would have urged the people to pray forher ifshe had conceded that the crieswere caused by cardiac or other sickness (151/8-13).afterhaving lived separately so that she could devote herself to religious lifeand in order to put an end to the calumny of fellow citizens. It is reported that on this occasion he gave her a gift of a pair of knives.76 came to Lynn between 1421 and most severe critics ofMargery Kempe's cries during 1425. This she would not do. still enjoyed conjugal Liber I of The Book of writing of Margery Kempe ends with an account of the initial the firstdraft. The Provincial Thomas Netter's attacks onwomen during thisperiod because of their"general did not recognise. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 167). identified as William Melton only by a marginal note in themanuscript. may severing friendship.148-152 sq. which may be another precautionary measure on the part of writer or amanuensis. or did not choose to recognise. and so it turned out. She cared forher husband for a number of years at the end of his life. It is said in the proem added by the second amanuensis to his 38 This content downloaded on Fri.Mystics Quarterly sermons (pp. It is possible thatAlan of was sever to instruction his link with Margery Kempe.

sehe thowt inhir hert sehe wolde pat God of hys goodnes wolde makyn Maistyr Aleyn to seyin a sermown as wel as he cowde (219/10-21).#1/2. The deaths ofMargery Kempe's son and husband probably occurred in late summer or autumn 1431 (note on 225/13-14. and died tohis mother inLynn.+ 1999 Vol 25. p. pe sayd creaturwas mor at horn inhir chambre wyth hirwriter & seyd fewer bedys for sped ofwrytyng pan sehe had don 3erys be-forn (216/4-7). 342). Several phrases suggest a slowing-down of the usual bustle ofMargery Kempe's activities: during the time ofwriting. as sone as sehe wolde seke whyl pis tretys gon a-bowte pe writyng of pis tretys. during which he had written thebulk of it (p. 225). her perceptions were sharpened. sehe was heil & hoole sodynly in a maner. leaving their child inPrussia. There is no evidence of an earlier visit in the text. March/June copy of Liber I in 1436 that the firstamanuensis was an Englishman who had lived abroad for a long time and had a German wife and child. 342). Meech was the firstto died after completion of the first draft (p. S. that he wrote neither good English nor good German. And oftyn sehe was comawndyd tomakyn hir redy in al hast. and. And also sehe herd many tymysa voys of a swet brydde syngyn in hir ere.B.as sehe lay inhir preyerys inpe chirche pe tyme ofAduent befor Cristmes. rather than to assume thathe could have written the whole draft as a dying man inone month.but there is no mention of any sickness on the part of the scribe. The account of thewriting process actually suggests that thewriting extended over a period ofmonths. started by the second amanuensis in 1438. thathe returned to Lynn. 4). she was frequently sick . theAdvent season came and went: Whan pis booke was firstin wrytyng. that theKempes' son who had lived abroad for many years returned toLynnwith his German wife. and thathe fell sick on the day afterhis arrival. and thathe within a month. Ithas oftenbeen suggested that the sonwas the first draft of Liber Iwhile sick during the last amanuensis. p. and ifhe worked on the textduring the last month of his life. And on a tyme. It is said in the second chapter of Liber II. viii). or even years.. it would make sense toposit an earlier visit 39 This content downloaded on Fri. point out that if the son was indeed the amanuensis. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . His fatherdied not long after (p. And sehe was many tyme was inwrityng. and oftyn-tymys sehe herd swet sowndys & melodijs J>at passyd hirwitte for to teilen hem. and thathe wrote the first month of his life in 1431 (note on 225/11 sq.

ithas often been assumed not only that the first 40 This content downloaded on Fri. It is likely that Margery Kempe knew other Lynnmen.but not necessarily immediately afterwards . 268).but it was badly written and difficult to read. wolde fordrede pat sehe had of deceytys & illusyons. There is in factno compelling reason to conjecture that theKempes' sonwas the first amanuensis. The book was entrusted perhaps after a furthertime lapse to the second amanuensis. That itwas not uncommon for Englishmen living inPrussia tobe married to localwomen is attested by the fact that the restrictions imposed by the Prussian diet in 1402 explicitly catered for them.At the time Margery Kempe was under severe attack (4/21-24). After a four-year deferral the second amanuensis said he could not read the book. p.he died (4/2 12). knew not how ]3eischulde ben vndirstondynmany days to-gedyr. with Margery Kempe's help. who had lived and married inDanzig. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . beyond her immediate family. A furtherattempt to read it. and the second amanuensis began the second draft in 1436. and other trading cities. Master born around 1348. had promised to copy the book if he could read it. This third There is no indication of the length of time the book remained with the third Finally the second amanuensis was vexed in his conscience because he man. and advised that itbe taken to another man who had known the first amanuensis and had corresponded with him and might be able to read his man triedunsuccessfully to decipher and copy it (4/27-40) writing.Mystics Quarterly whan sehe Sum-tyme sehe was in gret heuynes forhir felyngys. so that thepriest prevaricated and did not dare speak to her.80 The second amanuensis records that the first amanuensis wrote as much as Margery Kempe wished to tellhim during the time they were together. Because of the wish to identify the firstamanuensis with the sonwho returned draft toLynn and died in 1431. and ultimately returned to Lynn. who said he would copy itout ifhe could read it. given for although his death is 1428 (note on 22/11-12.79 age.and that afterwards . a priest. This would fit mid 1420swhen particularly well with theperiod during the was she under attack from the Franciscan friar and the Carmelite provincial. was ultimately successful. pat hir thowt sehe pat hir hed had be smet fro pe body tylGod of hys (220/4-9). goodnesse declaryd hem tohirmende The reference to Master Alan's preaching of an Advent sermon during the time when the book was being written (219/17-28) suggests that the writing was in was at the 1420s the Alan late latest. and progress by a into at least until he lived old traditional date 1423.

so also with thevisit to the Baltic and the well-known fact that the journey tookplace may obscure subsequent itinerary. Kempes' . the temerityof theundertaking fora woman travellingwith littlesupport. As with thepilgrimage to theHoly Land.but may have ended earlier. in whose territory Danzig lay. 229-231).A storm drove the ship offcourse so thatEaster was celebrated on theNorwegian coast (pp. and she did not have leave to do so her daughter-in-law did fromher parish priest and confessor. and France was not yet ended. Joan ofArc had recentlybeen burnt at the stake.is not specified. and Norwich. It is recorded that she was bound in obedience to him. troubles between the King Eric of the were hostilities Nordic Union was atwar with theHanseatic League. March/June 1999 was written in the space of a month but also that the four-year deferral took place between 1432 and 1436. although it not want her to.Rome and Compostella. having travelled fromLynn via the shrine atWalsingham. The twowomen embarked at Ipswich on theThursday before Easter. 1433. #2/2. after which time it that she should return to her family inDanzig.as did the son. Wilsnack. and there between Poland and theTeutonic Order.Robert Spryngolde. 1433 H34 After the death ofMargery Kempe's son and husband.+ Vol 25. Whereas the earlier continental journeys to Jerusalem. where Margery Kempe's felynge that she should board ship for Danzig was strengthened. WILSNACK AND AACHEN. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .being unwilling to venture on another voyage across theNorth Sea . and the subsequent journey from Danzig toWilsnack and Aachen.On balance itseems most likely that the writing of was not the the first that amanuensis the draftbegan by the mid-1420s.and that the four-yeardeferral ended by 1436 at the latest. He was doubtful about the suitability of her even going as faras Ipswich. her German daughter was agreed in-law stayed inLynn forone-and-a-half years. but the nature of the bond .theHundred Years' War with This content downloaded on Fri. Itwas gradually revealed to was clear to her that Margery Kempe that she should go with her. that the process continued over several years re-drafting of Liber I and thewriting of Liber II . Aachen and Calais . given her age and a recent foot injury (226/18 20).whether more formal or voluntary . At the timewhen Margery Kempe visited the Baltic and returned via Stralsund. were motivated by the wish to visit sacred places as a pilgrim and to obtain 41 sometimes entirely alone. the men of Lynn and theHanse were intense. TRAVELS TO THE BALTIC.

here as elsewhere. She was one of the female mystics toweep profusely in contemplation of her own sins and the redemption offered by Christ's Passion. The Council of Basel investigated St Bridget's Revelations and identified 123 errors in it. pp. against material both to shape several differentversions of her of them. From July shewas enclosed in a cell attached to the cathedral in 1392 to June 1394 her confessor. Founded not later was than 1396. inwhich he requests that theCouncil of Basel should not alter or abolish the order. ifnot by her daughter-in-law. It seems very likely thatpeople and places associated with St Bridget and Blessed Dorothea ofMontau. 1363-89. 378-380). and lived there as a widow 1390-91.83 Although there is no mention of her inMargery a Kempe's book. and it is probable that she availed herself of the opportunity to do so. as is demonstrated by a letter theNordic Union in July 1434. Itwas revealed to her that she should leave the country after fiveor sixweeks. Dorothea of which time life inDanzig. but her order was still written by King Eric of under threat in the 1430s. At the same time the order lost some of the privileges which had helped to finance the early foundations. after Marienwerder. ithas long been recognised that she is likely to have been Montau spent hermarried formative influence (App. including a tracton tears. froman earlier community of reformed prostitutes. and. and then composed a Latin record German. namely income from indulgences. and would have liked to stay (231 /25-32).before finally confirming its orthodoxy in 1436. Blessed Dorothea ofMontau lived for some years inDanzig. The Marienbrunn monastery inDanzig one of the earliest Brigittine foundations outside Sweden. by association.V. and died during Margery Kempe's youth. St Bridget had been canonised in 1391 and her sanctityhad been confirmed by Pope JohnXXIII at the Council of Constance in 1415. Johannes Marienwerder.81 and that. her own. which she regrettedbecause caution or expediency caused her or her amanuensis to avoid explicitmention of St Bridget at thispoint. however.and to compose other texts.82 When Margery Kempe visited Danzig. thebook gives no reason for and says very littleabout the time spent inDanzig. and to experience visionary marriage 42 This content downloaded on Fri. lest theirorthodoxy. Margery Kempe's urge tovisit Danzig. be indoubt.once more. itwas still possible to purchase indulgences from the Brigittine nuns. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . noted down her visions in the them tested authorities.84He used this life. 1414-1418.Mystics Quarterly she was made welcome by many people. indulgences. and ofDorothea ofMontau throughout thebook. renowned forher visions and holy tears. drew Margery Kempe toDanzig. ithad with some which were causing unease at the difficulty survived the charges of impropriety time of theCouncil of Constance.

and Wilsnack to the display of relics at he volunteered to accompany her by way of Aachen. just to the east of the riverElbe. who became impatientwith her company. However. 344). The receptacle inwhich the hosts were kept was place of pilgrimage for the gullible. following the amidst the ruins of the sacked church (noteon 232/10-11. founded in 1421. and the powerful and sceptical clergy ofMagdeburg. and the indulgences to be obtained at the shrine there. and from there to England. pp. who did not. who promoted them. March/June 1999 with theLord. towards Aachen. which lies 110miles south of Stralsund and 70 miles north-west of Berlin. with Margery Kempe walk or way.86 opened After leavingWilsnack for Aachen the travellers crossed water. presumably the were taking amore northerly routewestwards riverElbe: at Wittenberge ifthey were taking amore southerly route. was a village which had become a popular and controversial later in the century and found to contain only cobwebs and dust.without full success. where there monastery. They fell inwith travelling companions known toMargery from the early fifteenthcentury between thenearby Bishop ofHavelberg. There isno proof of connections between Dorothea of Montau and theBrigittine monastery inDanzig. and makes an interest inher order likely. begun miraculous While still in Danzig Margery Kempe met aman who told her of the Blood ofWilsnack. which was built to replace theone thathad been sacked and burnt. the only such badge known to have been found in England. From Stralsund they travelled toWilsnack.Vol 25. and finding itdifficult to suffering sickness and discomfort on the run fast enough to keep up with her companion. increasingly Wilsnack. fivedays which Christ and St Bridget admitted her to before her death she had a vision in their company. as did Margery Kempe. which suggests a special veneration for the saint. but the painted wooden shrine which housed it from themid fifteenthcenturymay still be seen in the great church in Wilsnack. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . indulgences. p. The receptacle was destroyed at the Reformation. #1/2. The authenticity of themiracle and themarketing of indulgences were a source of contention 43 This content downloaded on Fri. Marienkron. 1394. They travelled by sea along the coast to was another Brigittine Stralsund. or at Tangerm?nde ifthey the one followed by thepilgrim Philip ofKatzenbogen in 1434 (note on 237/34 37.85 The processus for the canonisation ofDorothea had in and continued until 1521. The King's Lynn Museum has a pilgrim badge from Wilsnack. issuing multiple miraculous appearance of threebloody hosts in 1383. dating from the first half of the fifteenthcentury. 346-348). sixtymiles to the south.

by priests among others. as indicated by pardon presumably to theBrigittine the annotation than to theCarthusian monastery. in July 1433. and travelledwith them ingreat discomfort since she did not feel able to follow their example and take offher clothes to rid herself of the vermin she caught from them (p. The book contains no information about Margery Kempe's to Lynn. InAachen.88 She made the acquaintance of poor folk travelling in a wain toAachen. lifeafterher return 44 This content downloaded on Fri. or the one at Stendal if at Salzwedel if they . 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Magdeburg if they if they south . knocked on a door tohire a horse and guide to take her toCanterbury. 237-247). perhaps the best part of a year. 237).Margery Kempe's guide returned toher the money he had had for safe keeping. pp. to encounter initially the sharp words of her confessorwho had given her leave only to travel as faras Ipswich. and then the of hardship on the road. It ends with her prayers. was repeated once more. in London. She was taunted and insulted. she saw the fourgreat relics shown only every seven years (note on 237/34-37. shunning and abuse by potential travelling companions. they it octave is for its medieval still within the of famous Christi. and their lewd threats led her to fear forher chastity (p.Mystics Quarterly Kempe's unwilling escort. thearea.probably Brunswick were travelling further were on the northerly route. Stendal being Corpus on and there is of Bohemian and evidence influence sculpture painting in glass. and managed to proceed to London.87 When the company came to a good town (236/6) . she went to Sheen to procure her monastery of Syon Abbey. and abandoned her because of her weeping and sobbing. From rather marginal Syon. 236). 346-348). leaving her in great anxiety and distress. but she found a poor good love of her confessor and her friends (pp. probably in 1434.where the Blessed Sacrament stood were further south open in a crystal. difficulties inwalking fast enough to keep up with others. After spending some time. Having negotiated the crossing fromCalais. difficulties in finding any place of lodging. and passed by a Franciscan friary probably the friary were following thenortherly route.89 Sheen she returned to Lynn. From there the pattern once monk to be her companion on the last stages of the journey to Calais. she found herself alone on the road from the coast toCanterbury.

Clearly Margery Kempe in the thirdperson. for instance of Purification and Candlemas. and topoi such as the abandonment ofMargery Kempe by her kindred who should have 45 This content downloaded on Fri. chapters 82 and 83 (pp. and parts of 25 and 62. Only in the case of Beatrice ofNazareth (tl268). 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . RE-DRAFTING OF LIBER I. They also include some traditional descriptions. such as Dorothea ofMontau. 1999 March/June LAST YEARS. one written by Beatrice herself and one by her male biographer.WRITING OF LIBER II The writing of the second amanuensis's proem to Liber I.were written by the second amanuensis inhis own person. The moving in traditionalmanner from frailty during the phase of purgatio through illuminatiotowards perfection It is possible that the second amanuensis exerted a considerable influence. a was unlike the first amanuensis. and of others not mentioned.92 but it is also the biographers examined and selected material from the experiences recounted to them by their subjects. and thebeginning of the is dated 1438.90 professional experience recording the proceedings of as narrative it stands records her religious life. The precise nature and extent of the contribution of the second amanuensis to the shaping and substance of The Book of Margery Kempe cannot be ascertained. and may also have been written by him: for instance. There are further passages which share some featuresof style and content with the ones which were definitely written by the second amanuensis. or parts of chapters. have two lifehistories survived. All of these chapters. He wrote his account of he cleric. which enable the reader to see justwhat modifications and well known that in the other cases shaping thebiographer undertook. as did themale biographers of holy women mentioned in the book. a holy woman not mentioned in thebook. added after the first writing of Liber II quire had been copied.+ Vol 25. which may perhaps suggest that he had an ecclesiastical court. isdated 1436.#1/2. for instance Marie d'Oignies (153/1) and St Elizabeth of Hungary (154/13). In Liber I not only the proem but also chapters 24. suggests expressiowslech" was his (aswell as suggesting thathe worked on thispart of thebook at different times). but possibly known. contain passages of commentary on the testing and justification ofMargery Kempe.93 There is one passage in chapter 62 inwhich he says that he did not write much in justification of the weeping of Marie d'Oignies and Margery Kempe when he wrote the book because at that time he had not read about the matter "seryowslech & which that thedecision onwhat to write (153/30-31). 198 202).

+

Mystics Quarterly

Kempe's

example in these passages of her distinctive vocabulary and phrasing, such as the expression ofmovement, literal and metaphorical, by means of to+ noun/ pronoun/adverb + wards, exemplified for instance in thewords of the Lord to her in time of trouble inRome: "per is gold to-pe-ward" (92/38-39). With regard toLiber II itseems reasonable to accept the claimmade by the second amanuensis thathe "held itexpedient" (221/4-5) to write of some but not all of the years that she lived after the death of the firstamanuensis "aftyrhyr owyn tunge" and to take this tomean that the narrative was based on, and often reproduced verbatim, Margery Kempe's own words, but that the amanuensis
include.

"owyn tunge" (221/11-12), so characteristic ofmany of her revelatory dialogues and other passages of direct speech. Instead of her direct record of sense experiences it isuncharacteristically stressed in chapter 82 that she seemed to hear, rather than that she heard: "hir thowt she herd" (198/12). There is no

loved her best, and the ineffablequality of hermystical experience - for which she demonstrably foundmany words. There is little trace in them ofMargery

what material, to helped at the very least to choose which years, and therefore

The entry of a Margery Kempe intomembership of theHoly TrinityGuild of Lent 1438 - theonly contemporary referenceto aMargery Kempe Merchants from outside her own book - suggests that at the end of her life she achieved some was measure of recognition and standing inLynn. That participation in civic life

not incompatible with the religious life isdemonstrated by the situation of Julian ofNorwich who, though a recluse, lived in close proximity to a busy city street, and had a place in thepublic discourse ofNorwich.94 At thebeginning and end of extracts from thebook printed in 1521 by Henry Pepwell, Margery Kempe is referred to as "ancresse of lynn". There isno other evidence that she became an anchoress in her last years, but it is possible.

The second amanuensis states in the proem that the book was not to be made known as long as she lived (4/34-36). Ifherwish was followed - and there isno evidence to the contrary - she did not live beyond 1440.

46

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+ 1999 Vol 25,#1/2, March/June

TRANSMISSION

OF THE TEXT

The book has survived in a singlemanuscript, BL Additional MS 61823, which Mount Grace Carthusian Priory in North centurybelonged to by the late fifteenth Yorkshire. The text is in thehand of one scribe,who gives his name at the end of

thedecade 1440-1450 (pp. xxxii-xlvi). The language of Salthows and his textual predecessors bears features of theNorfolk dialect (pp. vii-xxxii). There are marginal annotations in at least fourdifferenthands, the last and most prolific ofwhich is commonly attributed to amonk ofMount Grace. From the sixteenth
century the manuscript was in private possession for several centuries.

Liber II as Salthows, presumably from the North Norfolk coastal village of Salthouse. It is not the original manuscript written by the second amanuensis, but an early copy,which palaeographical and watermark evidence assigns to

Norwycensis diocesis (App. I,p. 351), presumably Soham inCambridgeshire, close to Ely, rather than Saham Toney inNorfolk. Soham, south-south-east of Ely, is
closer to Ely than is Saham Toney to the north-east, four miles distant as compared

At the end of themanuscript a folded document is bound in, being a letter granting leave to the addressee to continue to draw income from a benefice for seven years while studying at a university. The letter was sent fromLondon in 1440 by the apostolic notary, Petrus de Monte, to the vicar of Saham iuxta Ely

Vicar of Soham 1427-1442 part of the diocese of Ely in thenineteenth century.95 was William Bogy (p. xliv).96 Soham is four miles east of the confluence of the rivers Cam and Great Ouse, and tenmiles north-east of Denny Abbey at Waterbeach, which lies on theCam and also on the ancient fenland road from to Ely. When visiting the Franciscan nuns at Denny, and when from travelling Lynn to London and back, whether by road or water, Margery a route took thatbrought her to within a few miles of thegreat church at Kempe Soham. The vicar of Soham may well have been in communication with the nuns ofDenny, and have heard through them ofMargery Kempe, and her book, and have acquired it through them.Denny Abbey, like the manor of Soham, had a strong connection with Pembroke The College Cambridge. abbey was granted to de St Countess of Pembroke and of founder the Pol, Mary college, by Edward III. Inherwidowhood she livedwith thenuns atDenny, and was buried there in 1377. Cambridge 47

with twenty-five,and both were in thediocese ofNorwich in the Middle Ages. The dated letterfurtherstrengthens the evidence that the extant copy, as well as the original manuscript of the book, was written in the diocese ofNorwich. It also shows that the extant copy was bound not earlier than 1440. Soham became

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Mystics Quarterly

Grace Priory, perhaps by way of the monastic foundations at Syon or Sheen.

If the vicar of Soham acquired the early copy ofMargery Kempe's book, and took it with him when he left Soham to embark on a period of study at one of the universities, it could have found its way fromOxford or Cambridge toMount

were brotherswho came from Yorkshire.97 The monastery at Sheen Abbey there and Syon Abbey were both important centres for the transmission of devotional

The Carthusian monastery at Sheen and theBrigittine Syon Abbey (initially also at Sheen) were founded by Henry V in 1415. Communications between the Carthusian houses in England, relatively few innumber, were strong.At Syon

manuscripts of the English version of St Bridget's Revelations is similar, though not identical, to Salthows's hand.98 Some of the Sheen and Syon Abbey texts are heavily annotated, in amanner very similar to thatof the marginal annotations are mere corrections or in The Book of of the Some annotations Margery Kempe. or apt quotations from the scriptures, or theydraw attention to important words
and emendations, but many are pious repetitions, for instance of the name of Jesus, label

and mystical texts in thevernacular, including theRevelations of St Bridget and of Julian ofNorwich. The mid-fifteenth-century Syon Abbey hand of one of the

manuscripts have been carefully examined, and who moved between Sheen, the Midlands and the north of England, is JamesGrenehalgh.99 It appears that he was moved fromSheen in 1507-8, firsttoCoventry and then toKingston-on Hull. His hand is not the hand of themain annotator of The Book of Margery Kempe, but furtherresearch into thiscircle of textual annotators and scribesmight throw lighton thehistory of the manuscript.

a virtue or a sin, name an individual who may ormay not be identifiedby name in the text,or evaluate a piece of narrative with comments such as perfectioor annotator whose marginal additions to many discretion. A Carthusian

phrases

in the text

amor or vow

or sum

up

the contents

of a passage,

thepriory church.100 He increased the Mount Grace community by the addition of fivemonk-chaplains. It is possible that the contacts he established between or priest a Lynn and Mount Grace continued after his death, and that monk to Mount Grace. it in and took contacts the book Lynn maintaining such acquired to no the case of the addition In this there would be manuscript easy explanation of the letter to theVicar of Soham. 48

Another possible linkbetween Lynn and Mount Grace, more direct and secular, lies in the person of Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset, who had property near Lynn and played a part in the life of the town. Like his nephew Henry V, he supported theCarthusian order. In return forhis support ofMount Grace, the General Chapter of theCarthusian order in 1417 granted him rightof burial in

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n/2. it seems likely that these extracts contain the "approved" essence ofMargery Kempe's book as perceived by Brigittine and Carthusian readers. attested by his printing of works associated with these houses. and a Treatiseof Prayer. 208/8-10). It includes passages inwhich Margery Kempe was told thather silent contemplation was more pleasing toGod thanwas her vocal prayer (89/21-25. There is no indication that these displays of religious fervour aroused anxiety or censure on the part of the Carthusians.101 generally might provide The main annotator of The Book of Margery Kempe. convulsions.103 It was the extracts only. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and in thirdplace the extracts from Margery Kempe's book. draws attention to similarities between Margery Kempe's expressions of piety. including her shrieks. that to post known Margery Kempe medieval readers. and the piety ofMount Grace mystics such as Richard Methley and JohnNorton. ithas been was unusual for Norfolk noted that it manuscripts copied by Norfolk scribes in tomove far from the area while theywere still in regular use: the text and transmission of thewritings both of Julian ofNorwich and ofMargery Kempe which furtherinvestigationofNorfolk manuscripts "pose singular problems. Given Wynkyn de Worde's known familiarity with the piety of Syon Abbey and Sheen. into some means of access". until themanuscript of her book was re-discovered by H. commonly thought to have been a monk ofMount Grace. There followedWalter Hilton's Treatiseof the"Song of Angels". Yet intended as a support for lay people's devotions. reprinted in 1910.E.+ 1999 Vol 25. in second place Catherine of Siena's Divers Doctrines. se ofcontemplacyontaughtbyour lor It is as a shorte treaty de Ihesu crystethatextracts were printed as a simple booklet. Pepwell's anthology printed in the first place Middle English version of Richard of St Victor's BenjaminMinor. 89/38-90/3).102 This booklet has none of the worldly narrative and no mention of the shrieks and prostrations. perhaps with a different readership inmind. On occasion the annotator adds amarginal note indicating thatbodily contact described isgostly (214/7). and very occasionally there are deletions ofwhole sentences inwhich visions ofMargery Kempe's involvement in the re-enactment of Christ's lifeor dreams of Christ's sufferings are described (203/9-11. leaden colour and tears. a Allen in the 1930s. an Epistle of Discretion inStirringsof theSoul. byWynkyn de W?rde.March/June Whatever the routewhereby the manuscript reached Mount Grace. in the nature of a chap-book. Pepwell the chap-book format suggests that the extracts were in 1521 printed the same extracts in an anthology of contemplative was from mystical writings. an Epistle of Discerning of 49 This content downloaded on Fri.

literature and history. and Alexandra Barratt. tears. Susan Maddock.The Epistle of for this intended that the the Soul anthology readership suggests Stirrings of included novices in religious houses. currently suspended. in a variety ofways. Max Oulton. revelatory the recognised the worldly and of the narrative.whose made it a pleasure to undertake the skills and editorial interest scholarly for modifications Mystics Quarterly. I particularly wish to thank the following: Michael was begun with a view to Seymour. their spiritual directors. at whose suggestion the project publication in a series of lives of lateMiddle English authors. egocentricity Britain self-advertised sections were no vanity. so often amatter of Discretion in visionaries. but also with dismay inasmuch as it claimed to be an authoritative account of spiritual experience protagonist's life. and learn thee therein for to love only this good word Tesuand culminating in thenecessary skill of discriminating between concern to and evil Margery Kempe as to other good spirits. the account ofMargery Kempe's most popular of late Middle English texts. longer by themajority of readers as necessary stages in the process of purgatio. and their critics. and. senior archivist at theNorfolk Record Office. lifehas become one of the NOTES Many people have contributed to this study of the lifeofMargery Kempe. who prepared the maps. These texts together form manual of with to instruction for those striving become "gostly livers". Felicity Riddy.Mystics Quarterly a Spirits. veryNecessary for Gostly Livers. groans and convulsions were not widely acknowledged as valid manifestations of piety. BenjaminMinor as its starting-point "Thou shalt call together thy thoughts and thydesires. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .who read the typescriptand made useful comments on it. When was greeted with great themanuscript of the book was re-discovered it interest inasmuch as itdocumented an era of social history in a unique manner. and helpful to religious as well as to lay people. Margery Kempe's book could evidently be regarded by Brigittineand Carthusian readers as divinely inspired. In mid-twentieth-century was treated with unconcealed suspicion. who gave invaluable help regarding documents held inKing's Lynn and Norwich. and make thee of them a church. Since thenmuch progress has been made in the study ofmedieval spirituality. as both its shared and unique qualities have come to be understood and appreciated. publication in required slight 50 This content downloaded on Fri.

70 ff. 21-81. 97-99. William Asshebourne's Book. March/June 1999 1 Hirsh See J. Vol.Appendix. Jenks (1992). p. the putative authorwould more crediblybe sought among highly literateclerics. 99. S. Nyberg (1965).+ Vo/ 25. Allen's research and her papers deposited in the archives of BrynMawr College. than among unlettered women such as Margery Kempe. 51 This content downloaded on Fri. Stenton. pp. 17. Zeitschriftdes Vereinsfiir L?beckische Geschichte und Altertumskunde 68 (1988).pp. 2 3 are to BMK. such as the second amanuensis. 277-278. 12 13 Jenks (1992). ownership. Jenks has described in detail the history of theHanseatic warehouse. page /line. #1/2. I am grateful toDr. Fanous for firstalerting me as an excellent source of information regarding several to decades of Margery Kempe scholarship. p.. p. 91. pp. 418. pp. p. p. 114. ed. 2. 299-303. D. 418. T. p. I. p. including Appendix. William Asshebourne's Book. 4 The Register ofBishop Philip Repingdon 1405-1419.E. 1-li. T. Staley. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and wider issues of the in "Der Liber Lynne und die Besitzgeschichte des hansischen Stalhofs zu Lynn". Page. 14 15 16 17 Lloyd. ed. Hirsh's (1984). Jenks (1992). Archer (1963).. 6 7 8 9 10 11 (1981). F. Ibid. It may be noted inpassing that in theunlikely event that the book could indeed be shown to be a work of fiction. printed for theNorfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society (1913).M. its Hanseatic presence inLynn and London.Lloyd. chapter 5 A Calendar of theFreemen of Lynn. pp. S. and note references Most importantlyby L. p. 83. including an account ofH. Owen Ibid.

n. anchorite's initials. pp. 38 A Calendar of theFreemen ofLynn. 185-187.Women's Writing in 29 See also A Calendar Freemen ofLynn. xix-xx.1 am grateful to KL/C39/91. 583-585. 27 N. pp. p. NRO. 1300-1500 (1948). 34 D. p. 26 S.p.+ ^^^^^^ Mystics Quarterly 18 A Dominican marginal annotation. 22 C. 95. Orme. 23 See also P. pp. McNiven. probably indicates the him. p. 24 F. 36 37 44/76/175. p.. Davis. of the 30 RR. The exception to this is Agnes Paston. 21. 13. xxxviii. Vol II (reprint 1975). who probably wrote not only one of her own surviving letters. Medieval London. Tanner. 441-442. 82. 77. 24.M ofP. p. 35 A. Owen (1984). 17/35 fn. 25 N. 30. 7. Riddy (1996). p. 21 E. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Nelson. Ithas not been possible to identify 19 Victoria CountyHistory: County of Norfolk. 8-29.5. TheMerchant Class of 72. Paston Letters and Papers of theFifteenth Century. pp. 20 A. 31 32 33 M. 239). but also part of one ofher husband's letters Middle English. 52 This content downloaded on Fri. DCN Ibid. Barratt. pp. Begley for this reference. p. Duffy. Leet Roll for 1357. f. KL/C50/65-67. KL/C17/9. p. 28 N. 190. 71 Thrupp. pp. Vol. I (1971). Little. Atkinson. (A.

and thence to reading. for instance.ed. for instance. especially pp. on Margery Kempe. 53 This content downloaded on Fri. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and theAdult Acquisition of Literacy among Devout Laywomen and Women in New Trends inFeminine Spirituality: Orders inLate Medieval England". which will have applied during her childhood as well as later. 53 R. 31-36. Woods. Voaden. R. 47 48 M. (1984). L. R. 50 For the likelyprocess of theChristian education begun in early childhood. 33-40. 54 For the suggestion that recognition of Latin letter-shapes and their corresponding sounds inPsalters and Books ofHours could lead. see the numerous references to her inDuffy. see Atkinson. f. 49 For thevisual impact inparticular of traditional religion onMargery Kempe. p. March/June 1999 39 RR. 46 For an overall view of urban women atwork see H.160. William Asshebourne's Book. 92-94. 332-333. f. 41 42 NRO. place in 52 See. 45 NRO BL Via (IV) 0. 124d. see. Browne (Turnhout. f. Leyser. p. see pp. 80.C. to recognition of lettersand sounds in thevernacular. Leet Roll for 1333. 154-165. 40 William Asshebourne's Book. 271. 128d. Wogan Impact. Copeland. KL/C17/3.1 am grateful to V.7. Psalters. and for the formative influence of the continental women saints and the dissemination of English versions of the vitae. see M. Beadle (1997). pp. 43 Owen 44 RR.120. Parker. 79. 51 For the continental visionary tradition. pp. "Shared Books: Primers. and Margery Kempe's relation to it.DCN 44/76/49. forthcoming). Johnson and J. J. even when not understood. in TheHoly Women ofLiege and their Dor. 164-5.+ Vol 25. p. #1/2. pp. Begley for this reference.

et Egypti Peregrinationem H. pp. 68 69 70 last child inVenice has been William Wey. 6. by Evagatorum in Terrae Sanctae. p. G. 64 M. Roxburghe Club (1857). 65 Nyberg (1972).+ ^^^^^ MysticsQuarterly 55 There has been much discussion of the of theSt Elizabeth ofHungary identity was was no tradition of there that to in It book.1998). 24.4. R?hricht. ed. 71 Quoted from Fabri's . 61 R.. Erler. 66 BRUO. Howes. p. Hudson 58 See J. Newett. p. who was the firstto argue that the reference was to theDominican Elizabeth of T?ss (forrecentdiscussion see A. 54 This content downloaded on Fri. 59 For a brief seeM. now wonders why he "ever doubted that in Margery's Book the famous and 'Franciscan' Elizabeth was meant rather than the unknown Elizabeth of T?ss" (private communication of 22. 63 R?hricht. (1988). 56 See Tanner. p.160. 60 Hudson (1985). W. 11-12. 1997). 55-58. Leyser. 227. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . xx-xxv.Holloway. 67 The case for the birth of Margery Kempe's argued by L. 63. pp. history of thevocation and its liturgical ceremonies.. 16. 28. since there is evidence of a tradition of revelations associated with the saint for Leben und Legende der heiligenElisabeth instance in the late fifteenth-century Miniaturen der nachDietrich vonApolda mit 14 Handschrift von 1481 (Frankfurt amMain and Leipzig: Insel Verlag. 215. 435^36. Mitchell. Itineraries. pp. 57 See A.86-89. Arabiae p. p. 113. McNamer). p. Riehle. the referred long thought mystical revelation associated with the famous Franciscan tertiary St Elizabeth (1207-31). 62 R.. pp. Weissman. Barratt and S. Williams. pp. The Itinerariesof Stenton.

298-299. I am grateful to Felicity Riddy for this suggestion. Gray. Bhattacharji gives a fullaccount of the arrests and examinations in context. 79 BRUC: Alan de Lynn. writes of a "divine calling" fuelled by St Bridget's experience urging Margery Kempe to visit Danzig. 55 This content downloaded on Fri. and comments on the odd absence ofmention of Blessed Dorothea. 80 Lloyd. 1. 'vagabond'. fn. 284. an English sterte inGermany'. p. pp. p. fns. 85 86 Nyberg (1965). marginal 17. identifiessterte High German sterzer. from os EETS 249 J. 1348. p. Glasmalereien inder Stendaler Jakobikirche K.-J. for instance. 87 88 K. Little. pp. Die mittelalterlichen xvi.n/2. pp. Bitterling. Notes and as a variant ofMiddle Queries 43 (1996). 146/26-29. fn. 153. ed. p. fn.Tokien. p.R. 77 R. Shklar. pp. Stachnik. born c. and map showing known locations of pilgrim badges. Itineraries. Zur Geschichte derWilsnacker Wallfahrt unter besondererBer?cksichtigung der Pilgerzeichen (1992). See also D. 13-14. (1962). died at Lynn convent after 1423. 76 155/18. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and K-D. Gralow. 38-39. see R.R. Glasscoe. Corpus Christi College Cambridge 402. R. (1995). annotations on 105/20-24. Buchholz. 'Margery Kempe. Kieckhefer. 284. 89 90 245/31. 181-186.Maercker. 75 S. 114. 84 R. 22-33. March/June 1999 72 73 74 See.3. 4-5.+ Vol 25. p. 82 83 Nyberg (1972). 78 See Ancrene Wisse: edited MS. For thehistory of Wilsnack as place of pilgrimage. 4. pp. 81 M. A.

65. vacancy William Buggy. p.+ ^^^^^ Quarterly Mystics 91 Atkinson. Franciscan Studies Quarterly 29 (1994). p.62 at least from 152/29 See Hirsh (1975). by 1444. ed. 103 The annotations and the textual associations in Pepwell and subsequent anthologizers are analysed in detail by Lochrie (1991). 100 J. Chapters 24. paper delivered at the conference on New Trends in Feminine Spirituality: The European Impact of the Holy Women of Liege. 96 BRUC does not have an William Bogy of Soham. xv.. Wiberg Pedersen. 101 Beadle (1991). Cumming. 94 F. Wynkyn deW?rde and his Contemporaries (1925). Coppack. Vicar of Soham. 98 99 MS Garrett. Sargent (1984). Buky. 97 W. but does name entry for as or vicar of Saham Toney from 1427. Shears. University of Liege. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 43-45. 92 E. frontispiece. 11 14December 1996.M.R. Riddy. 209-220.. from 1397. "Anchoresses and Urban Identities in Late-Medieval England". "On the Theology and Spirituality of Beatrice of Nazareth". Princeton University Library Deposit Ibid. 90. 102 H. Mount Grace Priory (1991). Bogy. p. M. 93 to the end. Plomer.25 at least from59/31-60/4. pp. 95 Information about Soham and itschurchwas provided by Canon M. 56 This content downloaded on Fri.P.

#1/2. I. Barratt (London.or takenout of thebokeofMargerie kempeoflynn . 1521. Gardner (1910). II.. pp. STC 14924. 5. Staley. (Kalamazoo. E. B. ed. pp. 37 (variants given in BMK App. B. E. STC 20972. Here endetha shorte treatyse called . Here endetha shorte treatyse ofa deuoute ancres called Margerye kempeofLynne. Meech with prefatory note by H.. Mich: Medieval InstitutePublications. ed. EETS os 212 (1940)..+ 1999 Vol 25.. B. Seven Pepwell's anthologymodernised and reprinted inThe Cell ofSelf-Knowledge: Early EnglishMystical Treatises Printed byHenry Pepwell in 1521. 139. EARLY PRINTED EXTRACTS AND REPRINT fletestreteby Margerie kempede Lynn. 353-357). and final sentence a shorte treatyse Here begynneth ofcontemplacyontaughtby our lordeIhesu cryste. EDITIONS AND TRANSLATIONS The Book of Margery Kempe. March/June BIBLIOGRAPHY MANUSCRIPT BL Additional MS 61823. 1996).g. ed. 1992). Allen. A.. at BrynMawr College. Corrections by H. Pennsylvania.Meech (BMK pp. Allen's notes for second unpublished volume held with unnumbered. 49-59. TEAMS Middle English Texts Series. ed. Women's Writing in Middle English. no colophon. S. 1994). xxxii-xlvi). 57 This content downloaded on Fri. L. Extracts from the text included in several anthologies: e. Vol.Wynkyn de W?rde. Allen in letter to the Times LiterarySupplement. Enprynted in Wynkyn de worde. II. no title page. Re-issued by Henry Pepwell. E. EnglishMystics of the Middle Ages.Windeatt (Cambridge... pp. 353-357). 27 (BMK App. ed. The Book of Margery Kempe. Meech and H. loose papers. p. Cambridge University Library. with heading expanded to conclude . BL C... 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . probably 1501. G. by E. in anthology ofmystical texts. Allen and notes and appendices by S. B. described by S. Margerie kempe ancresse oflynn. Sei. 22 March 1941.

statutes and accounts of religious guilds. accounts of other borough officers. D. and further minutes.KL/C10/1. 1936. It also has an exchange of correspondence about Margery Kempe. Petroff (New York. London Guildhall. L. Translated extracts have appeared in anthologies in other languages. and wills proved in the local ecclesiastical probate courts. 1986). including Leet rolls. wills. 1994). reprinted with updated Medieval Women's bibliography. houses the Liber which is a collection of deeds transcribed 1424-1453 inorder to establish Lynne.New York. H. without date in title). Windeatt. ed. chamberlains' accounts and. 1984). Owen. American reprint. 1985. Modern English paperback version with introduction and notes: B. The Corporation of London Record Office. The Book of Margery Kemve (Harmondsworth.W. Further popular translations and modern English renderings have been made. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Chambers (London. Wilson (Athens. for isolated years.and possible lines of research.Mystics Quarterly Modern English version by lastprivate owner of Margery manuscript: The Book of an W. K.Modern English extracts inanthologies: e. Hall rolls and books.Ga.ed.Medieval Women Writers. Kempe. The documents 58 This content downloaded on Fri. Ingleby (1919-21). registers and enrolments of Red Register of charters. A. Bradfer-Lawrence in 1944:NRO BLIV b (Margery Kempe). Allen and H. deeds. between H. and registers of freemen. property rights of the Lawneye and Wyth families in Lynn. by R. 1944. ed. 1954. reprinted London. KL/C10/2 (not available when BMK was in preparation). E. court records. her family. 1436. with introduction Butler-Bowdon.A. The Norfolk Record Office (NRO) has further medieval deeds relating to Lynn properties. ed.. and the early fifteenth-century William Asshebourne's Book. the late fourteenth-century King's Lynn. E.g. Relevant archives include:Holy Trinity Guild of Merchants' minutes and accounts. including RR. DOCUMENTARY SOURCES The King's Lynn Borough Archives (KL) are themain source of documentary evidence concerning the Brunham and Kempe families and other people mentioned inThe Book of Margery Kemve. Visionary Literature. Norfolk Record Society XLVIII (1981). M.

are given by D. with introduction and bibliography.John Kempe junior elected to Magna October 1395. 'Extracts from documents' (pp. March/June 1999 transcribed include several from the late fourteenth centurywith references to JohnBrunham as witness. Jurata.120. February 1439: Et de Iohanne Assheden pro introitu Margerie Kempe solucionem. 61). "Der Liber Lynne und die Besitzgeschichte des hansischen Stalhofs zu Lynn". 358-375) has a detailed account of and selected extracts fromKL and NRO documents. Gd. KL / C17 /9 Leet roll for1375. and on John Kempe forbreaching the assize of ale. The Making of Kings Lynn: a Documentary Survey (London.+ Vol 25.xx Recept' in quadragesima per Iohannem Asheden. including the a known to references only Margery Kempe: KL/C38/16 (formerlyGd. M. KL/C10/1 (RR) f. 21-81. of particular interest with regard to Margery Kempe: KL /C17 /3 Leet roll for1333. inplenam Transcripts and calendars of selected documents. entry for the first week of Lent. Owen. BMK Appendix III. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . #2/2. name cancelled. an account roll of theHoly Trinity KL/C38/17 (formerly Guild ofMerchants. 4.xx s. records fines imposed on John Brunham for obstructing the Tuesday Market with timber. 1984). an account roll of the Holy Trinity Guild of Merchants. 59 This content downloaded on Fri. A full description of themanuscript is given by S. entry forLent 1438: Plegius Bartholomeus Colles de Margeria Kempe. Jenks. within the year.xx s. References toBrunhams and Kempes not included inBMK. 3. KL/C10/1 (RR) f. 1. s. JohnKempe's replaced by Thomas Faukes. 2. records fine imposed on Alice Kempe for forestalling the assize of fish. Zeitschriftdes Vereins f?r L?beckische Geschichte und Altertumskunde 68 (1988). 124d. 60).

Barron. eds. ed. ed. Iohannes borough officers' accounts for 1412. The Library. Aers Kempe". "The Revelations of Saint Elizabeth ofHungary". or Keep.Mystics Quarterly 5. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . ed. Aers. 14 (1992).. and Individual Identity:EnglishWriting 1360-1430 (London.7. in (Brighton. & A.1988). inNicholas Love at Waseda: Proceedings of the InternationalConference20-22 July1995. Culture andHistory 1350-1600 (London. Riddy (Cambridge. 1988).... has a codicil of 1410 in which coral beads and 40 s. G. 1997). D. 1983).Medieval LondonWidows (London. 1994). -. the 1408-9 will ofMargery Lok. IdeologyandHistory. Barratt. '"Devoute and the N-Town Plays". -. are bequeathed to an Isabelle de Brunham. NRO BL Via (IV) 0. "A VeryMaterial Mysticism: The Medieval Mysticism ofMargery Medieval Literature:Criticism.W. F. ymaginacioun'and the Dramatic Sense in Love's Mirror Sargent (Cambridge. D. inLynn at this time. 60 This content downloaded on Fri.Gender. World of Atkinson.CM. KL/C39/91. Sutton. Brunham SECONDARY SOURCES This selective list of secondary sources primarily records articles and books of biographical or background interest. 1-11. Beadle and M. 1991). Sixth Series. 1992). R. S. S. which has sometimes been interpreted as Ke[m]pe. "Prolegomena to a Literary Geography of Later Medieval Norfolk Regionalism". In the same document there is a bequest to John Kepe. Beckwith. inRegionalism inLateMedieval Manuscripts and Texts: Essays Celebrating thePublication of'A Linguistic Atlas ofLateMiddle English'.. Oguro. Beadle.. includes in list of burgesses hosyer. Community. ed.A.. there is no reason for such an interpretation since there was but a burgess JohnKepe.F. C. R. Mystic and Pilgrim: theBook and the Margery Kempe (Cornell.

S... 1: Text. ed.. EnglishMedieval Mystics: Games ofFaith (London. H. The Liber Celestis ofSt BridgetofSweden: the inBritishLibrary MS Claudius B i. 1992). Ghostly Sights:VisualMeditation inLate-Medieval Literature (Norman. ed.EETS os 178 (1929). Sv God is an Earthquake: theSpiritualityof Margery Kempe (London. and "WhyWomen Can't Read: Medieval Hermeneutics.. McEntire (New York. M. M. imitatioin theBook of Margery Kempe". S.McM.. "Margery Kempe and the English Devotional Tradition". Modern (New York. Middle English Version -. The Revelations ofSaint Birgitta. Representing Cumming. R... Dinzelbacher. EETS os 291 (1987). D.. Middle Ages". 1992). W. Vol. ed. E.. March/June ^^^^ Bhattacharji. Statutory Law. together with a Lifeof theSaintfrom theSame Manuscript. Glasscoe. 1993). to Despres. 1995). D. S. 1989). J. Phillips (Cambridge. 1980). "Margery Kempe's Scribe and the and the Medieval Mystics English Religious Tradition. I. ed. "Margery Kempe and King's Lynn".. Vision und Visionsliteratur im Altars: Traditional Religion in England circa 1400 Duffy. Medieval Delany. Fanous. Writing Women: Women Writers and Women in Literature.S. in Langland. Miraculous Books". The Stripping of the 1580 (New Haven. R.+ 1999 Vb/ 25. Dickman. "Biblical and Hagiographical Oxford. Mediaeval Erler.. Mittelalter (Stuttgart. in S. eds. Medieval England (Norwich.. Heresy Trials".. G. diss.C... 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The Theater ofDevotion: East Anglian Drama and Society in the later Middle Ages (Chicago. S. Ellis... 1989). in Margery Kempe:A Book ofEssays. in The Medieval Mystical Tradition inEngland. Copeland.M. Okla. (1997).#2/2. ed. 1990).B. Margery Kempe ofLynn and Gibson. Gallyon. the Lollard Women: Law.. M. the Ellis. 1983). 1994).. London. P. Heinzelman and Z. 155-203. Glasscoe (Exeter. 1997). "English Vowed Women at the End of the Studies 57 (1995). London. 61 This content downloaded on Fri. Literatureand Feminism (Durham. P. Wiseman.1981).

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In 1998 she became an associate member of Clare Hall. Subsequently literature she taught English in secondary schools in Britain. 68 This content downloaded on Fri.Mystics Quarterly Charity Scott Stokes taughtmedieval English at theUniversity ofMunich for twenty years.Meier-Ewert). early work on Anglo-Norman and Middle English devotional was written under hermarried name (C. and thenmoved to the Education Department of the Polytechnic of East London. 18 Jan 2013 13:34:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . University of Cambridge.