For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain

£7.495
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For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain

For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain

RRP: £14.99
Price: £7.495
£7.495 FREE Shipping

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I think people who already know a lot about these women may find this more of an introduction than anything, but I also do think it did a good job of getting the story across to someone who didn't already have established knowledge.

Stories about girlhood, motherhood, sickness, loss, doubt and belief; revelations more the powerful than the world is ready to hear. I could see the quiet, contemplative Julian alone in her cell, offering wisdom and comfort to those who came to her window and I could see and hear the boisterous, crazy-sounding Margery hectoring her neighbors and husband with her copious weeping and accepting coins and abuse for sharing her visions of being with Jesus, Mary, and the saints and repeating all the promises God made to her. Butler-Bowdon threatened to throw it on the bonfire, saying “then we may be able to find ping pong balls and bats when we want them”. But I'm just so frustrated by this continued trend of heavy-handed "feminist" reimaginings of the past which use dummies of medieval women to ventriloquize fantasies of a Handsmaid's Tale-esque past which flatten out women's actual historical experiences and fail to truly listen to their voices.This is a spare, uncluttered book, free of the Wikipedia bric-a-brac that often clogs up historical fiction, but you feel in every sentence the weight of history pressing down on and confining these women. If MacKenzie distills Margery’s adventures to their essence, here she does the opposite, entering a body narrowly confined so that the soul and mind can play across a cosmic landscape, and opening up for us Julian’s giant intellect.

These two real life women are imagined with all the colour and noise that the era invokes, and along the way we learn a great deal about a woman’s lot back then. The anchorite emphasized that any contrary movement would not be from a good spirit but rather from an evil spirit. As Victoria Mackenzie notes in her afterword, Julian’s Revelations of Divine Love is the earliest book written in English by a woman, while Margery’s dictated The Book of Margery Kempe is the first autobiography in English by anybody at all. And so sche dede and schewyd hir the grace that God put in hir sowle of compunccyon, contricyon, swetnesse and devocyon, compassyon wyth holy meditacyon and hy contemplacyon, and ful many holy spechys and dalyawns that owyr Lord spak to hir sowle, and many wondirful revelacyons whech sche schewyd to the ankres to wetyn yf ther wer any deceyte in hem, for the ankres was expert in swech thyngys and good cownsel cowd gevyn. Where MacKenzie does innovate in her re-telling, her instincts for narrative and structure aren't strong.The Margery who emerges is boastful, vulnerable, courageous, confused, mouthy, libidinous, attentive and impossible not to love. Moreover, I had little sense from this novel that MacKenzie has ever read much from or about the Middle Ages outside of the works of Julian and Margery. The anchorite continued to explain that a double-minded person in the soul is always unstable and unsteady in all their ways.

But they are living in a moment when any deviation from orthodoxy can provoke a terrible punishment.

Victoria MacKenzie recreates the events leading up to their encounter and the sort of conversation they may have had, but before reaching that point she explores the backgrounds of both women, with the perspective alternating between Margery and Julian as they follow very different paths through life.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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