Far better than a translation of the original, Ms Collis gives us the flavor of the original writer without the pain of olde English, her story without the repetition and preaching, and gives us a window into the life & times of Margery Kempe.
I truly enjoyed this incredible story of Margery Kempe, an English woman of the 1400s caught up in the religious fervor and devotion of that time. Her family had enough wealth for her take this trip, although it seems surprising that a female from this Medieval Period had sufficient freedom to make such an arduous pilgrimage without male family members. If you are interested in Medieval history this books provides many insights into the lives of the common people and their travels to the holy land.
For someone who is interested in the mentality of of the times, this is a great insight into the mind of a pious woman, which wasn't an uncommon way of thinking at the time.
Mrs. Kempe was the daughter of a tradesman in Kingslynn (Norfolk), married to a tradesman there, and had the calling, gumption, and health to make the long voyage to Jerusalem. In the manner of others demonstrate piety, she dictated her history of this years-long pilgrimage. As she was a lay person, her story includes many commonplace notes from the days of Henry V.
The editor, Louise Collis is described as a 'part-time historian' but she weaves in explanations of the mileu seamlessly into the book. There are very few footnotes but it is quite easy to read if one is interested.
"Many saints have written books, whereas only one member of the medieval public has had the industry, self-confidence, and will-power to describe for us the everyday life and viscitudes of a mayor's extraordinary daughter."
An interesting true story about a medieval woman who is so hooked on being religious that she doesn't realize how ridiculous she is.