Memoirs of a Medieval Woman: The Life and Times of Margery Kempe

Memoirs of a Medieval Woman The Life and Times of Margery Kempe For history and biography lovers the th century life and travels of the extraordinary Margery Kempe who left her family to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land

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  • Title: Memoirs of a Medieval Woman: The Life and Times of Margery Kempe
  • Author: Louise Collis
  • ISBN: 9780060909925
  • Page: 413
  • Format: Paperback
  • For history and biography lovers, the 15th century life and travels of the extraordinary Margery Kempe, who left her family to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

    One thought on “Memoirs of a Medieval Woman: The Life and Times of Margery Kempe”

    1. Margery Kempe was an extraordinary 15th century woman who traveled from England to Jerusalem (and a number of spots in between). She was convinced she had been chosen by God to be his servant, and, though married with 14 (!) children, she undertook to take His message to the faithful. More importantly to her, she had a “secret sin” in her early life, which she felt she could only expunge by this pilgrimage. Collis used Kempe’s own autobiography – the first ever written in English. (She w [...]

    2. Louise Collis' book stands of the interesting tradition of "books that are about books." While Kempe (c. 1373 - 1438) wrote what is quite possibly the first autobiography in the English language - and quite a fascinating book in its own right - Collis' re-telling of the story adds the occasionally much-needed and very helpful narrative voice of a twentieth-century historian. At the same time, her voice is never intrusive, always letting Margery's story shine through any additional insight she mi [...]

    3. If it weren't for Louise Collis's illuminating historical explanations, it might be difficult to make heads or tails of Margery Kempe, a medieval woman so set on sainthood that she dictated her autobiography for future followers. And I'm so glad she did. She's a riot, and her interactions with fellow Christian pilgrims, with her hen-pecked husband, and with the clergy give us precious insights into medieval life. Margery Kempe would have fit in perfectly with Chaucer's pilgrims. In fact, she wou [...]

    4. Very, very interesting!From back cover:"This unique biography tells the story of an extraordinary fifteenth-century woman who journeyed all over Europe from England to the Holy Land. A vigorous and passionate woman, Margery Kempe was married and had fourteen children when she deserted her family to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to expiate a "secret sin" in her early life. Along the way she meets many famous prelates and dignitaries, gets into all sorts of scrapes, and survives a feverish voyage [...]

    5. This was a fascinating biographical of a woman who would was attempting to become a saint. It shows the zealot moment into hysteria of the martyrdom of early Christians. How they were obsessed with the pain and blood of the Crucifiction of JC, the tales of woe of the early saints but more importantly - the charlatism of those out to make a profit on so-called relics. One is left to wonder what is real in the church at all! It was definitely a book to read - I want to read the original work of M [...]

    6. Margery Kempe, what a nut. This is a great look into medieval life, and how human and relatable everyone was, despite our stereotypes of that era. Collis's narration was honest and intrusive, with just enough personality to keep it lively. If you're at all interested in medieval Europe, this is a book worth reading.

    7. I read this book about 12 or so years ago. It was an amazing look at the life of a remarkable (and remarkably odd) woman. I was fascinated at how different the medieval mindset is from that of today -- and it goes way beyond the technology. :) Cool book.

    8. This book was interesting in small doses. It is based on the account of an actual woman who lived in England in the 1400s. As was apparently fashionable in the day, she was flamboyantly devout and made many pilgrimages, including to Rome, Jerusalem and parts of Spain. She would have fit right in with the crowd from the Canterbury tales.Her tale puts some misconceptions about history on their heads. She began her travels fairly late in life, after having raised 14 children. Her husband was uninte [...]

    9. A summarization of the memoirs of Margery Kempe of Lynn, England. She was a very ambition and trying woman determined to achieve sainthood in the 1400s.The author did a nice job of summarizing the rambling book dictated by Margary to two priests near the end of her life. She also added background information as to what else was going on at the time.

    10. truly fascinating look at a medieval woman who was eccentric and advanced for her time. she abandoned home and family to travel from england to israel and was focused on her spiritual journey more than history or the politics of the time. --can't blame her for that. women didn't have much play or say in either during her day.

    11. A great portrait of the times, but it would be very easy to construct a crime fiction novel around the murder of Margery Kempe. Every single one of her fellow travelers would be suspect, and who could blame them.

    12. I found this memoir very interesting. At first I thought Margery was an extremely obnoxious religious fanatic. But as I read I learned she was very much a product of her times and perhaps had epileptic seizures that she interpreted as religious visions. Her journeys are fascinating as are all her trials and tribulations. You get a good look at a Catholic Church suffering from corruption and a society having the first stirrings of Protestantism, at that time considered heretics. Margery tries har [...]

    13. if you interested in the medieval England and travels in that time, this book is for you. It is a story of a very strong minded Margaret Kempe. For reasons not fully explained, she desired to change her life radically and she did not accept opposition. A true feminist without knowing anything about feminism. Her fight was a fight for her own religious belief against cardinals, inquisitors and circumstances and she prevailed. In my opinion she would be acknowledged as true pioneer of feminist mov [...]

    14. Fascinating account of an extraordinary woman of the Middle Ages, 14 children, and who undertook pilgrimages to the Holy Lands and other places in Europein the early 1400s. The book is full of colourful detail, not only of Margery Kempe, but of the period and the circumstances of her travels, life as a middle class woman. Despite being illiterate, Kempe dictated her memoirs to a scribe and was later transcribed by a priest who fixed much of the grammatical and spelling errors. Some claim it as t [...]

    15. This was definitely an interesting read. Margery Kempe is one of the first women to tell her own life story in her own words, and it was quite a life, to boot.Alternately considered an extremely holy woman or a total nutcase (depending on who you asked), Margery popped out 14 kids and then abandoned them to travel the world on pilgrimages to the Holy Land and many holy sites all over Europe (etc.). She had several brushes with the Church, having to defend her actions in ecclesiastical court on m [...]

    16. This is the kind of book I picked up and put down over the course of a year and a half. Once I really got into it, I found it hard to put down. The author Louise Collis narrates the memoirs of Margery Kempe, woman who convinced herself that she was a saint--or at least that she deserved the comforts and respect that a saint deserved. Margery's story begins *after* she delivery her 14th child and is stricken with vision-inducing depression. When she is cured, she begins the ever-increasing pursui [...]

    17. An excellent look at life for fifteenth-century English pilgrims. Unfortunately, the main subject of the book, Margery Kempe, was not an enjoyable topic. She was forever making a fuss and pissing people off. She claimed to be holy and had visions of God, but she really sounds like an attention whore. It was interesting, but it dragged at times. The bulk of at least four chapters can be summarized as such: Margery went here, made a spectacle of herself, and annoyed the crap out of everyone. She w [...]

    18. The book is alright. There's nothing terribly inaccurate about it. I was a bit disappointed. It pretty much just paraphrases Kempe's spiritual biography with a few outside references to give a bit of historical context. Kempe's own voice (as mediated as it is) is so delightful to read that I got a bit sad revisiting her life without hearing it in her words. One nice moment though, is at the beginning Collis makes the argument that Kempe's illiteracy is abnormal for a woman of her status. It's mo [...]

    19. A bit of a tough read at times but a fascinating look at how much religion dictated every aspect of life.

    20. I really enjoyed the book however, I wish it had more information from her book. This seemed more of a general overview and I would like to read her actual memoir.

    21. This was tough to get through. I enjoyed the historical aspect during the travelogue sequences but the rest was very repetitive and left me bogged down in the minutia.

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