Julian of Norwich: A Very Brief History by Janina Ramirez

Kindle Edition Published 1st October 2016 by SPCK, 128 Pages.

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Over six hundred years ago a woman known as Julian of Norwich wrote what is now regarded as one of the greatest works of literature in English. Based on a sequence of mystical revelations she received in 1373, her book is called Revelations of Divine Love.

Julian lived through an age of political and religious turmoil, as well as through the misery of the Black Death, and her writing engages with timeless questions about life, love and the meaning of suffering.

But who was Julian of Norwich? And what can she teach us today?


Medievalist and TV historian Janina Ramirez invites you to join her in exploring Julian’s remarkable life and times, offering insights into how and why her writing has survived, and what we can learn from this fourteenth-century mystic whose work lay hidden in the shadows of her male contemporaries for far too long.

This is an excellent guide to the first book written in English by a woman, which sheds light on the historical and social context of the famous work. It would be very useful for anyone who has read Revelations of Divine Love and wants to know more about Julian of Norwich (who may have been the sister of the Norfolk Knight Sir Thomas Erpingham of Henry V fame).

For all that I did not much care for this book. This was entirely a matter of personal taste: I read this as a women’s historian having little or no interest in Julian of Norwich or her writings otherwise, and I didn’t necessarily agree with all the author’s conclusions. I’m sure others will get more out of it, as it was not a bad book by any means.

I requested a copy of this book from Netgalley, I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

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