Margery

So when I first read The Book of Margery Kempe, I did not like her as a person. I thought she was completely nuts, an attention seeker, super selfish, and pretty full of herself. After our discussion in class, I changed my mind. She was pretty bad ass! Just doing her own thing, going on pilgrimage, standing up to important dudes, absolutely determined and not letting anyone stop her. I couldn’t shake the feeling that she kind of abandoned her 14 children to go on this ‘mission.’ I found this journal article that talks about how she actually gave birth to her last child during her pilgrimage. Since her book was autobiographical, the silence of this last birth during such a momentous period in her life seems odd. The author thinks perhaps she was trying to separate her life as a wife and mother from her spiritual life as a bride of Christ. Or she was going to rewrite her life and reject her carnal experiences, not mentioning her children at all. But it was crucial to mention her first labor because so much of the story stems from that experience. It also mentions that if all 14 children were carried to full term, that would have been 126 months of pregnancy. There were 240 months between her first labor and her decision to become chaste. That sounds like enough to make any woman a little crazy.

http://www.jstor.org.proxy.libraries.rutgers.edu/stable/438753?Search=yes&resultItemClick=true&searchText=On&searchText=the&searchText=Birth&searchText=of&searchText=Margery&searchText=Kempe%27s&searchText=Last&searchText=Child&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3DOn%2Bthe%2BBirth%2Bof%2BMargery%2BKempe%2527s%2BLast%2BChild%26amp%3Bacc%3Don%26amp%3Bwc%3Don%26amp%3Bfc%3Doff%26amp%3Bgroup%3Dnone&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

 

 

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