Monday, April 17, 2006

Margery Kempe, crazy like a fox

Dr. Virago has a interesting post on Margery of Kempe up on her blog.

I find much irony in this since I've been re-reading 'Memoirs of a medieval woman;: The life and times of Margery Kempe' by Louise Collis

I commented to the post but I'd like to expand on it slightly.

When I first read Kempe I thought she was a fascinating woman with a hell of a lot of self-confidence. I also felt a bit sorry for her husband, but he must have loved her dearly. He must have to stayed by her side through everything.

Margery couldn't have been a easy woman to be around for many people. Even today we're embarrassed by those who are 'overly devout'. Holy or crazy? The text demands response of some sort.

Some of Dr. Virago's students called her a freak and crazy.

She might be a 'freak', but she's a interesting one. And if she's crazy, she crazy like a fox. Whether or not she had her visions due to mental illness, a imaginative mind, or true visions from God, she seems to have believed in them. She was also smart enough to know what she had to do, ie cultivate the right friendships, made the right pilgrimages; making sure that if she's ever called into question by the Bishop or others that she has the right people on her side.

Consciously or unconsciously she probably knew she needed to persecuted to be a saint.

I think she rather liked it too.

Now whether my opinions on her hold up to a second reading of her book and Collis remains to be seen. I'll post again when I've completed them again.

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