This paper describes different aspects of life of Margery Kempe.
Margery Kempe was born in 1373 in a town called Bishops-Lynn. Margery's father, John Brunham, was a merchant, five time mayor and Member of Parliament. Thus, Margery's family was considered to be one of the most important families in Lynn.
At the age of twenty, Margery married John Kempe. She gave birth to fourteen children. When she gave birth to her first child, she went through a lot of pain. She even thought that she would die of puerperal fever. However she managed to survive. But because of these painful circumstances, she went through a mental disorder. She became mad in such a way that perception of external reality became severely affected. She became hostile for herself, her friends and for her family.
happy. For next ten years, she engaged herself in two different businesses. First she decided to become a brewer. At that time this business was considered to be very profitable. And in the beginning everything went fine for her. But after a few years (three to four years), her business finished. She then decided to become a miller but this business, like the previous one, collapsed. Because of her visions, she began to show her keen interest in religious activities. But sometimes, despite of so much love for religion, she was attracted by worldly activities and sexual pleasures. However she soon realized that happiness and pleasure is in devoting one's life to the will of God. Margery, with her tearful form of loyalty to God, created lots of difficulties for other people. Whenever she sensed the presence of God near her, she used to cry and shout for a long time periods. Because her love for religion she used to feel guilty for her sins of past life. Whenever she felt guilty for her sins, she confessed. She wished to live life chastely with her husband. In her book she has mentioned it as
"I was praying to God to let me live chastely with my husband's permission, and I heard Christ say to me inwardly, 'On Fridays you must go without both food and drink, and your wish will be granted before Whit Sunday, for I will suddenly strike your husband dead". Finally she succeeded in doing in living her life, as she desired.
Pilgrimages of Margery Kempe
Margery went on for pilgrimages to different parts of world. She first went to Holy land and Rome in Jerusalem. In 1417 she went on pilgrimage to Compostela. She followed
this pilgrimage with a visit to Leicester, Beverly and York. During these travels she faced many difficulties. She was arrested by English authorities. In those times, there were certain rules to live a life of "good women". According to those rules a women can either be a married housewife or she can be a nun. On the other hand, Margery was married but used to live away from her husband. English authorities considered her as a member of sect called "lollards". Lollard was a religious sect who was angry with the corruption in churches. Lollards were considered as dangerous for society. It can be seen from Margery's writings that she was not a lollard. Only her way