Digbys, Erdeswicks, Bowdons, and Butler-Bowdons 5. Summing Up: Highly Recommended. While thoroughly documenting each step of her research, she pays attention to pace and pauses for emphasis, summing up the pertinent details, inserting anecdotes about the more colorful characters whose lives were touched, sometimes unknowingly, by Margery Kempe's Book. This carefully researched and intellectually imaginative book will be of interest to scholars of medieval Christianity in many fields, from material culture to women's studies, to theology.
Ann Matter, William R.
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Kenan, Jr. Flawlessly researched, engagingly written and richly detailed, it carries readers on the many physical migrations of Kempe's manuscript through turbulent English Catholic history, while arguing that Kempe's purpose was to embody her own spiritual journey in textual form. Capern, University of Hull, UK. Sign in Register Wishlist 0.
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Perilous Passages. Product Description.
Product Details. Table of Contents Prologue 1.
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- Perilous Passages: The Book of Margery Kempe, by Julie A. Chappell.
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Reviews "Chappell has written a concise and intellectually rewarding study of the manuscript, early printing, and reception history of The Book of Margery Kempe. The body in their library was a textual body, a manuscript, itself of some antiquity.
The discovery of this body, as in other English mysteries, is also clouded in a mystery. Was it actually found in the library of that manor house in Lancashire, as the Colonel first asserted, or in a cupboard near an ancient fireplace in another manor house belonging to this family in Derbyshire, as his son would contend later? Evidence on the body itself told at least part of its story: it was written down in the fifteenth century by a man named Salthows whose family may have lived in Norfolk near the hometown of the woman, Margery Kempe, whose story the manuscript told.
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But neither the scribe nor Margery Kempe could be connected with the family in whose manor house this manuscript body was found in The manuscript body, possibly created in Norfolk, had somehow made its way to Yorkshire after or at the time of its being written down by Salthows. An inscription not in the hand of Salthows offered another trajectory for investigation, as did a series of marginal glosses in red ink, in at least two distinct hands.
This monastery had been defamed, dissolved, and dismantled by December along with all the rest of the religious houses in England. Where, then, had the manuscript gone? My pursuit of the lost years between charterhouse and manor house began with my perusal of the glosses made in the margins of the manuscript body.
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One hand in particular who wielded the second red-inked pen and wrote his letters so uniquely from the others, so hurriedly, offered another clue. His clue was the first toward determining the final passages of this manuscript body. What caused him to rush through his reading to amend the text? The witnesses, medieval and modern, were telling different stories.
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Fiction mixed with fact which I was beginning to suspect was a slippery notion. Red herrings proliferated.
In the seven decades since its discovery by the Colonel in the library or not , the manuscript body has been removed from the manor house and settled, without doubt, in a library, the foremost repository of English books, the British Library. Clues lurking redly in its margins led me first to Carthusian monks and their books.
My first passage posits the manuscript body out of Mount Grace and into the ill-fated London charterhouse. Bodies of Carthusians and other religious and lay folk in the s litter the path in the third chapter which establishes the critical passage of the manuscript body from the Carthusians to an ever extending Catholic family.
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The fourth chapter investigates the family network created through faith and marriage which protected the body so well all trace was lost even in the family itself. The final chapter posits how the Colonel, one descendant of that family, managed to retrieve the now nameless body from its resting place in the library or the cupboard. Without knowing its true identity, he provided the passage of this manuscript body into the hands of Hope Emily Allen, who would identify the body and name it The Book of Margery Kempe.
By thinking backwards from what was certain, the possession of an ancient, English gentry family, to that of the Carthusians at Mount Grace Priory in Yorkshire, I pieced together evidence one pen scratch, one rubricated word at a time to reveal the perilous passages of one medieval book. It was a marvelous adventure! Note: Julie provided the photos above: the Mount Grace Priory chapel as it looks today, an aisle of the church at St.