Anthony BaleFeb 25, 2023
A Mixed Life
Reaktion Books 2022
Margery Kempe: A Mixed Life (Reaktion Books, 2022) is a new account of the medieval mystic and pilgrim Margery Kempe. Kempe, who had fourteen children, traveled all over Europe and recorded a series of unusual events and religious visions in her work The Book of Margery Kempe, which is often called the first autobiography in the English language. Anthony Bale charts Kempe’s life and tells her story through the places, relationships, objects, and experiences that influenced her. Extensive quotations from Kempe’s Book accompany generous illustrations, giving a fascinating insight into the life of a medieval woman. Margery Kempe is situated within the religious controversies of her time, and her religious visions and later years put in context. And lastly, Bale tells the extraordinary story of the rediscovery, in the 1930s, of the unique manuscript of her autobiography.
Anthony Bale is professor of medieval studies at Birkbeck, University of London. He has published many articles and books on medieval literature and culture, including The Jew in the Medieval Book: English Antisemitisms 1350–1500 and a translation of The Book of Margery Kempe.
Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel.