Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Julian of Norwich - first book written in English by a Woman
Revelations of Divine Love
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Revelations of Divine Love (which also bears the title A Revelation of Love — in Sixteen Shewings above the first chapter) is a 14th-century book of Christian mystical devotions written by Julian of Norwich. It includes her sixteen mystical visions and contemplations on universal love and hope in a time of plague, religious schism, uprisings and war. Published in 1395, it is the first published book in the English language to be written by a woman.
At the age of thirty, 13 May 1373, Julian was struck with a serious illness. As she prayed and prepared for death, she received a series of sixteen visions on the Passion of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Saved from the brink of death, Julian of Norwich dedicated her life to solitary prayer and the contemplation of the visions she had received. She wrote a short account of her visions probably soon after the event. About twenty or thirty years after her illness, near the end of the fourteenth century, she wrote down her visions and her understanding of them. Whereas Latin was the language of religion in her day, Julian of Norwich wrote in a straightforward Middle English, perhaps because she had no other medium in which to express herself (she describes herself as a simple creature unlettered, Rev. chap. 2).