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Reading The Book of Margery Kempe in the 21st Century: Gender, Authorship, and Performance


The history of The Book of Margery Kempe, written at the beginning of the 15th century by a burgess of Bishop's Lynn (Norfolk), is quite revealing of the way Medieval Studies have entered the 21th century. Its links with the present have become stronger thanks to the critical approach, first of Women's Studies and then of Gender Studies (see Partner 1993; and also Bennett 1993), to the issues of authorship, sexuality and the body, and ultimately of performance Hopenwasser 1999; Bradford 2001; McAvoy 2005)