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'To Promote God's Praise And Her Neighbour's Salvation'. Strategies Of Authorship And Readership Among Mystic Women In The Later Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

In addition to the writings related to mystic women, Margery Kempe took great inspiration from the sites associated with them which she visited on her pilgrimages and from the women she went to meet in person. Margery Kempe's description of her own 'reading' and receptivity can be extrapolated to both the production and dissemination of writings presenting the spiritual journeys of exceptional women from the end of the twelfth to the fifteenth century. This chapter represents the preliminary stage of an inquiry, requiring further research, on the networks that the pious women and their communities developed between themselves. It suggests that these networks both facilitated and supported a distinct gynecocentric literary practice, one which made it possible for mystic women, from the twelfth century to the end of the Middle Ages, to learn from and support one another in the writing and reading of spiritual texts.

Keywords: Margery Kempe; Middle Ages; mystic women



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