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Friday 17 May

Dr Laura Varnam

Margery Kempe: A Medieval Mystic for the Modern Age

11.00am to 12.00pm

Fowey Town Hall, £10

Dr Laura Varnam is known at the Festival as a du Maurier expert but in her day job she teaches Medieval Literature at University College, Oxford. Over the past few years, Laura has entertained festival-goers with tales from Geoffrey Chaucer and the Anglo-Saxon poet of Beowulf. This year she introduces us to the author of the first autobiography in English, the medieval mystic Margery Kempe. From King’s Lynn in Norfolk, Margery was married with fourteen children when she underwent a conversion to Christianity and reinvented herself as a bride of Christ. In this fascinating lecture, find out about Margery’s extraordinary religious life, including her visions of God, pilgrimages as far as the Holy Land, and her uncontrollable weeping. In her determination to be the author of her own life, Margery Kempe is a medieval mystic
for the modern age.

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