BooksThe Book Of Margery Kempe

The Book of Margery Kempe

Margery Kempe

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The Book of Margery Kempe


Margery Kempe




The Book of Margery Kempe is a medieval text attributed to Margery Kempe, an English Christian mystic, and pilgrim who lived at the turn of the fifteenth century. It details Kempe's life, her travels and her alleged experiences of divine revelation, including her visions of interacting with Jesus as well as other biblical figures, and her presence at key biblical events such as The Nativity and The Crucifixion. Kempe's book is written in third person, employing the phrase "this creature" to refer to Kempe in order to display humility before God. Kempe was illiterate and her book was dictated to two scribes who set it down. Modern editions of Kempe's book are based on a second generation manuscript copied by a scribe named Salthows sometime in the fifteenth century, the original manuscript having been lost. The Salthows Manuscript was found in a home in Lancashire in 1934. Prior to the discovery of the full text, all that was known of Kempe's book was a pamphlet by Wynkyn de Worde from 1501 which contained seven pages of excerpts from The Book of Margery Kempe. Kempe's book is widely cited as the first autobiography in English, however scholars disagree on whether or not it can accurately be called an autobiography, or whether it would be more accurately classified as a confession of faith.

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