I, Julian: The fictional autobiography of Julian of Norwich

£9.495
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I, Julian: The fictional autobiography of Julian of Norwich

I, Julian: The fictional autobiography of Julian of Norwich

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Price: £9.495
£9.495 FREE Shipping

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I, Julian is a fictionalised autobiography of Dame (or Mother) Julian of Norwich, best described, I would say, as a contemplative lay religious figure – a lay nun, really.

Throughout her book, Ms Gilbert uses the device of Thomas as Julian’s interlocutor; much of the tale is related by Julian in ‘conversation’ with him. What seems indisputable is that Julian was the author of the first work written in English by a woman.

Julian's life is touched by loss, through pestilence, death and her own decision to live as an anchorite, locked into a cell attached to a church for decades. Julian's meditative and other spiritual practices give her insights that almost match those of Buddhism. And from a few pages later (p170): “The church is grey stone, its stubby tower built toward heaven, not with the elegance of a spire but with a stable determined intent, open to heaven rather than pointing at it. Julian's voice rings out true on every page and a deep understanding of her world and her work underpins each line. I fell in love with her candour, her lively language, the immediacy of her visions as she conveyed them in her writing.

However, I found the accounts of her visions and the theological discussions less interesting and found myself skipping through some of them. It is a beautiful, intensely moving achievement which not only excites literary admiration: it renews the reader's faith that 'all shall be well'. Claire Gilbert inhabits Julian of Norwich in the way that Hilary Mantel immersed herself in Cromwell. The tale culminates in Julian succeeding in completion of her chapters on the 14th Revelation: the Lord and the Servant – the latter not sinning by intent, but rushing to obey and accidentally falling; pain is love – God is always merciful if He (or, perhaps, She) receives prayers. Claire Foster-Gilbert inhabits Julian of Norwich in the way that Hilary Mantel immersed herself in Cromwell.It is as if we have finally found the lost autobiography of one of the medieval world's most important women. Hold on tight: the intense first-person narrative is quite hard to read, with many strange formulations of language, but… it is worth it to persevere. As a mystic, her interpretation of the visions she experiences lead her to the famous conclusion that “All will be Well. There are also vivid descriptions of the multiple miscarriages – ‘13 graves in my heart’ – suffered by Julian’s friend, Isabel.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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