Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Margery Kempe (1373-1438), the English mystic who went to Jerusalem and dictated her life story, said to be the first autobiography in English.

Period2 Jun 2016

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleIn Our Time: Margery Kempe and English Mysticism
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletBBC Radio 4
    Media typeRadio
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionMelvyn Bragg and guests discuss the English mystic Margery Kempe (1373-1438) whose extraordinary life is recorded in a book she dictated, The Book of Margery Kempe. She went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to Rome and Santiago de Compostela, purchasing indulgences on her way, met with the anchoress Julian of Norwich and is honoured by the Church of England each 9th November. She sometimes doubted the authenticity of her mystical conversations with God, as did the authorities who saw her devotional sobbing, wailing and convulsions as a sign of insanity and dissoluteness. Her Book was lost for centuries, before emerging in a private library in 1934.
    PersonsKatherine Lewis