January was Medieval month. I decided to read Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich. I heard about it from my older brother, who, being the recovering history major that he is, decided to conduct a study of the medieval female spiritual mystics as a side hobby (you know cause that is a totally normal thing to do in your spare time).
I decided to read Revelations Of Divine Love because 1. It was written in the 14th century around the time of the plague. As I am currently writing historical fiction from the period, I thought it would be helpful to dive into a primary source about religious views and revelations from that time. 2. RODL is the first book in the English language to be written by a female.
Despite the archaic language, which was at times difficult to understand, I found RODL to be an enjoyable read. Even though Julian lived in a time of great turmoil in all classes and sectors of society, she does not address current events or political turmoil. Instead, she focuses on her revelations of Jesus Christ and God’s love for all men. Her words are full of hope!
As a young child, Julian saw the black plague rampage her village of Norwich three times. Julian was struck with another illness at about the age of 30. After being saved from near death, she decided to focus her life on prayer and understanding the 16 revelations that she received during her time of weakness. In her book she spends 86 chapters describing her revelations in depth.
“All his revelation was shown in three ways, that is to say, by what I saw with my eyes, by words formed in my understanding and by spiritual insight. The spiritual insight I neither can nor may show as openly and fully as I would like to, but I trust in our Lord God Almighty that he shall, of his goodness and for your love, make you understand it more spiritually and sweetly than I can or may tell it.”
Does Revelations of Divine Love fit the literary movement you have categorized it in? Tell us your reason.
As medieval literature is focused mostly on spiritual issues, I believe that this work perfectly fits into the canon of the Medieval period. However, as the writer is an ordinary female with no formal religious training, it is still very unique.