Encountering The Book of Margery Kempe

Edited by Laura Kalas and Laura Varnam

Encountering <i>The Book of Margery Kempe</i>
Hardcover +
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526146618
  • Publish Date: Nov 2021
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Paperback +
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526171580
  • Publish Date: Apr 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526146601
  • Publish Date: Nov 2021
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information


    This innovative critical volume brings the study of Margery Kempe into the twenty-first century. Structured around four categories of 'encounter' - textual, internal, external and performative - the volume offers a capacious exploration of The Book of Margery Kempe, characterised by multiple complementary and dissonant approaches. It employs a multiplicity of scholarly and critical lenses, including the intertextual history of medieval women's literary culture, medical humanities, history of science, digital humanities, literary criticism, oral history, the global Middle Ages, archival research and creative re-imagining. Revealing several new discoveries about Margery Kempe and her Book in its global contexts, and offering multiple ways of reading the Book in the modern world, it will be an essential companion for years to come.


    'The essays gathered in the volume evince our growing understanding of the artistry that undergirds a text that was once considered important but possibly artless. It is this artistry, this sure sense of the dynamics of narrative, of voice, of social and religious conventions and culture, that holds the volume itself together, giving it the implicit unity a gifted author provides to her or his later readers....This is a good volume of essays with which to continue the process of exploration and the joys of discovery.'
    Lynn Staley, Harrington and Shirley Drake Professor of the Humanities, Colgate University, The Medieval Review


    Introduction: Encountering The Book of Margery Kempe in the twenty-first century - Laura Kalas and Laura Varnam
    Part I: Textual encounters
    1 Before Margery: The Book of Margery Kempe and its antecedents - Diane Watt
    2 The intertextual dialogue and conversational theology of Mechthild of Hackeborn and Margery Kempe - Liz Herbert McAvoy and Naoë Kukita Yoshikawa
    3 The prayers of Margery Kempe: a reassessment - Josephine A. Koster
    Part II: Internal encounters
    4 The Book of Margery Kempe: autobiography in the third person - Ruth Evans
    5 Margery Kempe as de-facement - Johannes Wolf
    6 Margery Kempe, oral history, and the value of intersubjectivity - Katherine J. Lewis
    7 'A booke of hyr felyngys': exemplarity and Margery Kempe's encounters of the heart - Laura Varnam
    Part III: Encountering the world
    8 Margery Kempe's home town and worthy kin - Susan Maddock
    9 A women's network in fifteenth-century Rome: Margery Kempe encounters 'Margaret Florentyne' - Anthony Bale and Daniela Giosuè
    10 Margery Kempe, racialised soundscapes, sonic warss and cosmopolitan Jerusalem - Dorothy Kim
    11 The materialisation of Book II: elements of Margery Kempe's world - Laura Kalas
    Part IV: Performative encounters
    12 Writing performed lives: Margery Kempe meets Marina Abramovic - Sarah Salih
    13 Recreating and reassessing Margery and Julian's encounter - Tara Williams


    Laura Kalas is Senior Lecturer in Medieval Literature at Swansea University
    Laura Varnam is Lecturer in Old and Middle English Literature at University College, Oxford

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