Margery Kempe: A Mixed Life reviewed in the TLS

Margery Kempe is one of the most divisive figures in medieval English literature. Her account of her life is often referred to as the first autobiography in English, though it was recorded by scribes and amanuenses rather than by Kempe herself. The daughter to a man who was a merchant and mayor of Bishop’s Lynn, and the mother of fourteen children, Kempe turned to a life of chastity and spirituality after experiencing a vision of Christ, but pursued that life outside the walls of a religious house.