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on 18 June 2017
I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about this period however. I have really been blessed by this book.
I'm getting ready to re-read it!
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on 13 September 2017
received promptly and in good order, a hard read though!
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on 19 July 2017
Great read, a little at a time
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on 11 June 2017
Product as described. Prompt service
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on 25 October 2017
fine
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on 13 May 2017
amazing stuff considering the age it was written it. a must for any literature lover.
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on 21 July 2017
Excellent
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on 3 April 2016
Absolutely fascinating as a historical document. I have the original as well and both are useful in different ways. The language of the original feels better for the subject - this version is often actually quite funny. It's infuriatingly repetitive at times.
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on 8 September 2014
If she wants it back, she knows where to find me
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on 30 June 2017
Here's a primary source for those interested in the fifteenth century. (And it's probably one of the earliest memoirs written by a woman for those of feminist leanings.) Try as I might I could never see any spiritual significance here, however. Margery's too hysterical and too interested in the impact she makes to ring true. She's sometimes described as a mystic, but I think the commentator - I forget who - who called her a "would-be mystic" was closer to the mark. (She's nevertheless remembered in the Church of England's Calendar (9th November) - it's not clear why.)

Margery was a contemporary of Julian of Norwich, whom she visited, but while Julian's words seem touched by fire, I don't really know what Margery can tell us - other than that she wants to be noticed. And this is obviously why she walks around dressed in white - to the annoyance of other women who perceive that there's some kind of claim being made here and call for her to be burnt as a heretic as she walks down the road.

Margery calls on the Archbishop of York. And this is brave - he could have had her burnt alive. I'm afraid churchmen did think that a proper way to deal with heretics in those days (even Meister Eckhardt, the great Dominican theologian, was fortunate not to end his days at the stake, and that likely would have happened had he not died in custody, probably from the exhausting effects of his long journey to Avignon at an advanced age to face charges of heresy). But one feels the bishop's conscience would have constrained him to "play fair" (if only because he would have thought the Almighty would treat him as roughly if he did not.) Margery is canny enough to avoid any traps in conversation, and in my view is not interested in heresy anyway. All she wants is to be noticed; and one way to that, in that society, is to go and tweak the bishop's tail, a dangerous game.

Margery does report a vision. Does that make her a "mystic"? And if so, are there distinctions to be made between different sorts of mysticism? I think she's told what she wants to hear in the vision. Traditionally, there was always concern around such experiences. It was thought that they might be genuine, but that they could also be delusion - coming from a person's own disordered psyche ... or perhaps from somewhere worse. Knowing the difference is what is meant by "discernment". There are some traditional "rules of thumb" for this, but mostly it seems to be about experience. After the vision, Margery does rush out and consult a hermit. He seems rather excited by her experience and over-credulous and perhaps did her no favours by this attitude.

Margery is wont to disobey her confessors, and this has traditionally been taken to be a bad sign. The confessor/spiritual father - or in Eastern Christianity the spiritual guide (elder, geronta, staretz), not necessarily a confessor, and there not necessarily ordained either but recognised by the laity for what he or she is - has spiritual authority and should be listened to. In the Desert Fathers there's a saying that one should take advice even from an unbeliever rather than rely on oneself. ...
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