Margery Kempe was a fifteenth-century mystic, mother, wife, pilgrim, and controversialist, from the town of Lynn in Norfolk. Kempe roamed widely around Europe and the Middle East, including a visit to Jerusalem and the holy sites of Palestine. She left a long written account, known as The Book of Margery Kempe, detailing her travels and travails. In this lecture, Professor Bale, who is currently preparing a new translation of The Book of Margery Kempe, will consider Kempe’s representation of Jews and Judaism alongside her descriptions of the Holy Land. Bale’s lecture will explore the religious and cultural background of Kempe’s writing, and will locate Kempe in terms of other late medieval writers and pilgrims, particularly in terms of the translation of Jerusalem from the Middle East to northern Europe.
Introduced by: Professor David Latchman CBE, Master, Birkbeck, University of London.
Vote of thanks: Professor Hilary Fraser, Executive Dean, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London.
A drinks reception will follow the lecture.