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Women Pilgrims in Middle Ages


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A new book coming out at the end of march looks interesting-except for the US$147 price. Below is the blurb:
Wandering Women and Holy Matrons: Women As Pilgrims in the Later Middle Ages (Studies in Medieval and Reformation Traditions)
Leigh Ann Craig
This book explores women's experiences of pilgrimage in Latin Christendom between 1300 and 1500 C.E. Later medieval authors harbored grave doubts about women's mobility; literary images of mobile women commonly accused them of lust, pride, greed, and deceit. Yet real women commonly engaged in pilgrimage in a variety of forms, both physical and spiritual, voluntary and compulsory, and to locations nearby and distant. Acting within both practical and social constraints, such women helped to construct more positive interpretations of their desire to travel and of their experiences as pilgrims. Regardless of how their travel was interpreted, those women who succeeded in becoming pilgrims offer us a rare glimpse of ordinary women taking on extraordinary religious and social authority.
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A selection of Camino Jewellery
The Book of Margery Kempe (1430)

A great pilgrim!
The Book of Margery Kempe, Book I, Part I , with footnotes
Edited by Lynn Staley - Originally Published in The Book of Margery Kempe
Kalamazoo, Michigan: Medieval Institute Publications, 1996
Here begynnyth a schort tretys and a comfortabyl for synful wrecchys, wherin thei may have gret solas and comfort to hem and undyrstondyn the hy and unspecabyl mercy of ower sovereyn Savyowr Cryst Jhesu, whos name be worschepd and magnyfyed wythowten ende, that now in ower days to us unworthy deyneth to exercysen hys nobeley and hys goodnesse. excerpts of her book ... rimage.htm
Mapping Margery Kempe Pilgrimage - Maps - Pilgrimage Routes: England - Pilgrimage Routes: England, Europe, and the Holy Land (map) - Pilgrimage Site: Jerusalem: Holy Sepulchre (Grave of Christ), - Medieval Jerusalem - Pilgrimages Italy - Site: Rome, Plan of Medieval Rome - Bibliography ... _kempe.htm short biography full text ... mkempe.htm - 20 books on Margery Kempe

Margery is mentioned in two more posts on this forum now.

PS 17-5-9: "this creature"
Dante explained in Vita nuova that "pilgrim" could be understood generally, referring in the classical sense to a foreigner, a person outside his country, or, specifically, to a traveler to the shrine of St. James in Compostela or another site. The term "pilgrim" especially applied to those people destined for that Spanish location, while those who pilgrimaged to Jerusalem or oltramare were "palmers," and those destined for Rome were "Romeos."[7] In the option of a name—the first personal topic of rhetoric—Loyola is quintessentially a type rather than an indi-[149]vidual; he is a traveler at large while also bound for specific shrines. Although both Peregrinus and Viator were early Christian names,[8] Loyola is not "a" pilgrim but "the" pilgrim, or Everyman. There did exist third-person accounts of pilgrimage and impersonal guidebooks. An example of a pilgrim-author referring to the self in the third person was The Book of Margery Kempe , considered the first English autobiography, where the protagonist was "this creature." Even the usage of "I" and "we" by pilgrim-authors was little personalized in high medieval literature, until more personal touches were added in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. See ... and=eschol & ... and=eschol > Four The Pilgrim


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I have long been fond of Margery - she had loads of children (I have five), she worked hard in the same town as I do, she came later to pilgimaging and could be embarrassing....

if you have a problem with snoring, just imagine sharing a lodging with someone who sobbed and wailed with passion as she considered the love of God and the sufferings of Jesus! Her travelling companions sometimes set off without her in order to escape!

Go, Margery,go!

Bridget and Peter said:
she had loads of children
14, I remember to've read. She passed through Holland twice (ports of Zierikzee and Middelburg). To me she's almost as enchanting as Georgiana! It takes some time to get used to her language but it helped me a lot reading aloud. In those days English and Dutch were quite similar using less verbs. Found some more very interesting sources with a lot of pictures and commentaries: ... ry%20Kempe - INTRODUCTION - LANGUAGE - Accomplishments or why Margery Kempe was famous: The Book of Margery Kempe is considered to be the first autobiography in the English language - Kempe and her "Book" are also significant because they record the tension in late medieval England between institutional orthodoxy and increasingly public modes of religious dissent, especially those of the Lollards. Throughout her spiritual career, Kempe's adherence to the teachings of the institutional Church is challenged by both church and civil authorities, most notedly the Bishop of Lincoln ... ects/kempe a site including the full text of her book with explanations. ... ry%20Kempe 140 old and new copies, reviews and comments. (paste this in the Google search window) PILGRIMAGE OF MARGERY KEMPE - Writes biography documenting her visions and travels in The Book of Margery Kempe. Manuscript Trivia: Manuscript lost for many years before being ... - with lots of old and modern day pictures.

A Companion to The Book of Margery Kempe - by John Arnold, Katherine J Lewis (paste title and authors into the Google search window) with chapter 4 on her trials for Heresy, Lollardy and Dissent.

Enjoy and count your blessings on the Camino (she did not see Santiago)!
2 Camino guides, €5 each
Clearing out some books before my move to the new office in a few weeks.
More Women Pilgrims in Middle Ages

Following Women Pilgrims in Middle Ages on pilgrim-books/topic5579.html more on: THE BIBLE AND WOMEN PILGRIMS on Helena and Paula from Rome, Egeria from Spain, Bridget from Ireland, Guthrithyr from Iceland, Margaret from Jerusalem, Birgitta from Sweden, Margery Kempe from England (and others) on Pilgrimage to the Holy Places. See map attached below.

More in the attached Word document More Women Pilgrims in Middle Ages1.doc on:

The presentation given first at St Hilda's College, Oxford, Conference on Women and the Book, and then on Iceland celebrating her Millennium of Christianity since 1000, in Christianity's Jubilee of 2000: Women, the Book, and the Godly
Selected Proceedings of the St Hilda's Conference, 1993, Volume I
Edited by Lesley Smith; Edited by Jane H.M. Taylor
Taking a variety of critical approaches, the papers in Women, the Book and the Godly analyse the subject of women and religion, Women, the Book, and the Worldly
Selected Proceedings of the St Hilda's Conference, Oxford, Volume II
Edited by Lesley Smith; Edited by Jane H.M. Taylor
This second volume of proceedings from the `Women and the Book' conference, held at St Hilda's College, Oxford in 1993, brings together fifteen papers dealing with women's experience in the secular literary world. The Pilgrim and the Book: A Study of Dante, Langland and Chaucer by Julia Bolton Holloway ; Revised Edition PETER LANG HOME PAGE/VITA FOR JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY The Round World's Imagined Corners by Julia Bolton Holloway: (…) Spain particularly is cognisant of the globe. Egeria had been noted in a Spanish document dated from the seventh century to have traversed the whole orb with her pilgrimages made in the fourth century. (...) Spain's monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, came to commission Columbus' Voyage that would bring about America's official discovery. But Dante Alighieri had already postulated, in the Purgatorio, the existence of this 'nuova terra'. As had the Icelandic discovery before him of Vinland. (…) THE LIBRARY OF IBERIAN RESOURCES ONLINE - Emperor of Culture: Alfonso X the Learned of Castile and His Thirteenth-Century Renaissance - edited by Robert I. Burns, S.J. - by Julia Bolton Holloway, Associate Professor and Director of Medieval Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder

Take the cockle to … Jerusalem!? on miscellaneous-topics/topic5968.html
The Book of Margery Kempe (1430) on pilgrim-books/topic5579.html#p32322
Margery on pilgrim-books/topic5579.html#p32338


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Can I also recommend my own book: Susan Signe Morrison, Women Pilgrims in Late Medieval England: Private Piety as Public Performance (London: Routledge, 2000)? I deal with Santiago a bit, though I focus on England, but it's a good source for anyone interested in women pilgrims in the Middle Ages.
Susan Morrison

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