For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain

£7.495
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For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain

For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain

RRP: £14.99
Price: £7.495
£7.495 FREE Shipping

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I just wish that Margery’s and Julian’s God had not seen fit to inflict so much distress and suffering on these two women. Mary Wellesley has written an excellent book about medieval manuscripts in which both feature prominently, and now, at least, there are decent paperback editions of the books by Julian and Kempe which had such a tumultuous history.

Some of the most extraordinary passages in the novel describe Julian’s surrender to the limits of her cell, the infinite-external giving way to the infinite-internal. MacKenzie engages with them on their own terms, as two women trying to resolve the conflict between authority and experience. It is a fictionalised account of the meeting between Kempe, a wealthy wife and mother to fourteen children, and Mother Julian of Norwich, daughter of a merchant and widowed mother.

It hits a sweet spot for me between the literary and the irresistibly readable; the kind of book that sucks you right in and delivers you back to the world with fresh perspective. In For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain, Margery and Julian tell their stories from girlhood to motherhood, with MacKenzie colouring in the blanks in their fascinating histories. In contrast, Margery is perhaps less obviously sympathetic as she roams around, telling others of her visions and crying publicly and loudly about the sufferings of Christ.

I don’t really like historical novels or works of fiction about real people – however, I just really enjoyed the book I read about the Ladies of Llangollen and I really want to read this one.Stories about girlhood, motherhood, sickness, loss, doubt and belief; revelations more powerful than the world is ready to hear. I found the structure and pacing very unbalanced, with the first section, telling the two separate tales in parallel, being by far the longest and the actual meeting at Julian’s cell being dealt with in just a few pages near the end. She was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, as well as being awarded prestigious writing residencies in Scotland, Finland and Australia. What these women share is bravery: in telling their stories at a time when the church has weaponised misogyny – Julian in writing, unlettered Margery by engaging passersby on the street – both are risking their lives.

The best aspect of the novel is that they are not there as mystics, but humans, with struggles, aspirations, regrets, insights and choices. Taking the real-life medieval figures of Margery Kempe and Julian of Norwich as a springboard for a compelling meditation on faith, femininity and the abuses of the church, For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain is a uniquely powerful reading experience.God and the devyl ben evyrmor contraryows, and thei schal nevyr dwellyn togedyr in on place, and the devyl hath no powyr in a mannys sowle. Stories about girlhood, motherhood, sickness, loss, doubt and belief; revelations more the powerful than the world is ready to hear. At its best, historical fiction can open up a window on the past, breathing life into those who are long gone while reminding us of how different their world is from our own.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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