The Book of Margery Kempe, the earliest surviving autobiography in English (dated 1436-8), is a unique account of the extraordinary life, travels and revelations of a fifteenth-century Norfolk housewife and mother, pilgrim, prophet and visionary; it is one of the most compelling and significant English texts of the middle ages. This volume presents the original text in accessible form for modern readers, with on-page glossing and a glossary of common words. It is accompanied by on-page annotation of and commentary on the Book, bringing together scholarship on Kempe and setting her life in the social, political and spiritual context of her time. An introduction provides information on and context for the further interpretation of the text, and the volume is completed by a chronology of Kempe's life. [This edition previously published by Longman.] Professor BARRY WINDEATT is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
(Kempe) bursts from the pages of this careful and sober critical edition like Molly Bloom. Windeatt's introduction and detailed notes help to place her in a cultural context. (...)In terms of comparison and allusion to Middle English Texts and provision of a helpful glossary, this edition is exemplary. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW