On the Birth of Margery Kempe's Last Child

  title={On the Birth of Margery Kempe's Last Child},
  author={Laura L. Howes},
  journal={Modern Philology},
  pages={220 - 225}
On her return to England after her first pilgrimage abroad, Margery Kempe meets with an English anchorite in Norwich. He asks her "wher sche had don hir chylde pe whech was begotyn & born whil sche was owte, as he had herd seyde."1 Significantly, Margery does not deny that she had given birth while away, only that the child was conceived on pilgrimage: "Ser, pe same childe pat God hath sent me I haue browt hom, for God knowyth I dede neuyr sithyn I went owte wher-thorw I xulde haue a childe" (p… 
5 Citations

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For an entirely different reading, see Caroline Walker Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women (Berkeley, 1987), esp

  • Margery would have been pregnant for a total of 126 months out of 240 months, or just over half of the time between her twentieth and fortieth birthdays
  • 1975