Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Writing - Treasures in manuscripts

No this is not a food blog or a history blog, it's somewhere in between.

Margery Kempe

When Margery Kempe became an anchoress she began dictating her conversations with God and is believed to have produced the first ever autobiography. It is remarkable enough in 1395 that she was female but also the first written in English. The Revelations of Divine Love was discovered around eighty years ago and now has been digitised.

In Christianity, an anchoress is a woman who chooses to withdraw from the world to live a solitary life of prayer and mortification. Julian of Norwich (Margery Kempe) was an anchoress whose writings tell of her life and spiritual journey. The word anchoress comes from the Greek “anachoreo” meaning to withdraw. By the Middle Ages, the anchoress was enclosed within the confines of her cell. Most often the cell was attached to the parish church. This means the anchoress was not cut off from the world. Instead, she was anchored in it.

So we have this devout Christian woman is walled up in her cell considering God and has her thoughts, ideas and experiences recorded. These experiences resembled seizures or fits and towards the end of the book they believe there is a cure for those fits in the text.

Previous scholars could discern the terms 'sugar' and 'cinnamon' bit it is believed that there is a recipe for 'dragges ' which were medicines intended to settle the stomach and to end bouts of dysentery called 'flux'.
The recipe contains fennel seeds, nutmeg, cinnamon, aniseed and ginger which were mixed with sugar heated and then dried. This was picked up in the digitisation process.

Such information was not part of the story but a solution to a factor of life. When we write our stories we include such factors in an almost ad hoc way and these are subjects that make our work important over time. Hopefully it wont take 700 years to come to prominence!


In this the 5th Steele novel Patrick tackles the person who has been surreptitiously dogging his footsteps over a number of his adventures. This is not without risk and the focus of his love, Naomi Kobayashi, disappears which seriously affects his ability to function as well as he can. We also find out more about the man himself.
The adventure takes him to Eire, France, the USA before he returns to resolve the issue in the UK.
Will Patrick finally rid himself of a deadly enemy?
Can our hero rescue his love or is it already too late?
Another Patrick Steele adventure filled with tension and action as well as the support provided by the team he has developed over the years.


God Bless