Women’s Literary Culture : Guest Blogpost

Pieta. Markisches Museum, BerlinThis week I am guest-blogging over at the ‘Women’s Literary Culture and the Medieval Canon’ website. You can find my post here.

I am talking about my favourite fifteenth-century mystic Margery Kempe and how she uses medieval religious objects such as the pietà (Mary holding the dead body of Christ, pictured left) as an opportunity to perform her identity as a holy woman.

Margery was a married laywoman with fourteen children and when she decided to reinvent herself as a mystic and holy woman, she had to find a new way of staging that identity and convincing her fellow Christians that she was truly holy. Pop over to the blog to find out more!

The blog is based on my recent article, available open access here.

Laura Varnam, ‘The Crucifix, the Pietà, and the Female Mystic: Devotional Objects and Performative Identity in The Book of Margery Kempe,’ Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures, 41, No. 2 (2015), pp. 208-237.

(Medieval pietà in the Markisches Museum in Berlin, photo by the author).

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