Biographies, poetic compositions, works that are mystical, prophetic, visionary, or meditative: the selections here reflect the developments in medieval piety, particularly in the link between female spirituality and the body. Included are the dramatic visionary writings of Hildegard of Bingen; letters and poems by Hadewijch expressing passionate love for God; and Marguerite Porete's allegorical poem "The Mirror of Simple Souls," a dialogue between Love and Soul that was condemned as heretical. Also included are biographies written by male ecclesiastics of women such as Christine the Astonishing, whose extraordinary behavior included being resurrected at her own funeral; revelations received by Bridget of Sweden, the first woman to found a religious order; and excerpts from The Book of Margery Kempe, in which Margery imagines herself as a servant caring for the Virgin Mary in her childhood.

This volume, edited by Elizabeth Spearing, who also prepared some of the translations, features a rich introduction to the lives and religious experiences of its subjects, as well as full explanatory notes.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Elizabeth Spearing

Introduction by Elizabeth Spearing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Acknowledgments and a Note on the Texts

Abbreviations

Hildegard of Bingen

Extracts from the Vita (translated by Peter Dronke)

Extracts from a Letter to Guibert de Gembloux (translated by Peter Dronke)

Extracts from Scivias (translated by Mother Columba Hart and Jane Bishop)

Christina of Markyate

Extracts from The Life of Christina of Markyate (translated by C.H. Talbot)

Hadewijch

Extracts from the Letters (translated by Mother Columba Hart)

Extracts from the Poems in Stanzas (translated by Mother Columba Hart)

Extracts from the Visions (translated by Mother Columba Hart)

Christine the Astonishing

The Life of St. Christine the Astonishing (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Mary of Oignies

Extracts from The Life of St. Mary of Oignies (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Elizabeth of Spaalbeek

The Life of St. Elizabeth of Spaalbeek (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Marguerite Porete

Extracts from The Mirror of Simple Souls (translated by A.C. Spearing)

Bridget of Sweden

Extracts from the Liber Celestis (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Julian of Norwich

Extracts from Revelations of Divine Love (Short Text) (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Extracts from Revelations of Divine Love (Long Text) (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Anonymous

A Revelation of Purgatory (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Margery Kempe

Extracts from the The Book of Margery Kempe (Book I) (translated by B.A. Windeatt)

Notes

The improbable life story of Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) included a peculiarly gothic childhood in Ireland during which he was successively abandoned by his mother, his father and his guardian; two decades in the United States, where he worked as a journalist and was sacked for marrying a former slave; and a long period in Japan, where he married a Japanese woman and wrote about Japanese society and aesthetics for a Western readership. His ghost stories, which were drawn from Japanese folklore and influenced by Buddhist beliefs, appeared in collections throughout the 1890s and 1900s. He is a much celebrated figure in Japan. View titles by Various

About

Biographies, poetic compositions, works that are mystical, prophetic, visionary, or meditative: the selections here reflect the developments in medieval piety, particularly in the link between female spirituality and the body. Included are the dramatic visionary writings of Hildegard of Bingen; letters and poems by Hadewijch expressing passionate love for God; and Marguerite Porete's allegorical poem "The Mirror of Simple Souls," a dialogue between Love and Soul that was condemned as heretical. Also included are biographies written by male ecclesiastics of women such as Christine the Astonishing, whose extraordinary behavior included being resurrected at her own funeral; revelations received by Bridget of Sweden, the first woman to found a religious order; and excerpts from The Book of Margery Kempe, in which Margery imagines herself as a servant caring for the Virgin Mary in her childhood.

This volume, edited by Elizabeth Spearing, who also prepared some of the translations, features a rich introduction to the lives and religious experiences of its subjects, as well as full explanatory notes.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Elizabeth Spearing

Introduction by Elizabeth Spearing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Acknowledgments and a Note on the Texts

Abbreviations

Hildegard of Bingen

Extracts from the Vita (translated by Peter Dronke)

Extracts from a Letter to Guibert de Gembloux (translated by Peter Dronke)

Extracts from Scivias (translated by Mother Columba Hart and Jane Bishop)

Christina of Markyate

Extracts from The Life of Christina of Markyate (translated by C.H. Talbot)

Hadewijch

Extracts from the Letters (translated by Mother Columba Hart)

Extracts from the Poems in Stanzas (translated by Mother Columba Hart)

Extracts from the Visions (translated by Mother Columba Hart)

Christine the Astonishing

The Life of St. Christine the Astonishing (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Mary of Oignies

Extracts from The Life of St. Mary of Oignies (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Elizabeth of Spaalbeek

The Life of St. Elizabeth of Spaalbeek (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Marguerite Porete

Extracts from The Mirror of Simple Souls (translated by A.C. Spearing)

Bridget of Sweden

Extracts from the Liber Celestis (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Julian of Norwich

Extracts from Revelations of Divine Love (Short Text) (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Extracts from Revelations of Divine Love (Long Text) (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Anonymous

A Revelation of Purgatory (translated by Elizabeth Spearing)

Margery Kempe

Extracts from the The Book of Margery Kempe (Book I) (translated by B.A. Windeatt)

Notes

Author

The improbable life story of Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) included a peculiarly gothic childhood in Ireland during which he was successively abandoned by his mother, his father and his guardian; two decades in the United States, where he worked as a journalist and was sacked for marrying a former slave; and a long period in Japan, where he married a Japanese woman and wrote about Japanese society and aesthetics for a Western readership. His ghost stories, which were drawn from Japanese folklore and influenced by Buddhist beliefs, appeared in collections throughout the 1890s and 1900s. He is a much celebrated figure in Japan. View titles by Various

Books for Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Every May we celebrate the rich history and culture of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Browse a curated selection of fiction and nonfiction books by AANHPI creators that we think your students will love. Find our full collection of titles for Higher Education here.

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