Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography

Julian of Norwich A Contemplative Biography In a thirty year old woman named Julian living in East Anglia England began receiving visions what she later called sixteen showings that revealed to her the reality of the love of God When s

  • Title: Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography
  • Author: Amy Frykholm
  • ISBN: 9781557256263
  • Page: 384
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In 1373, a thirty year old woman named Julian, living in East Anglia, England, began receiving visions what she later called sixteen showings that revealed to her the reality of the love of God When she wrote these down, they became the first English language book ever written by a woman In this groundbreaking biograohy, AMy Frykholm recreates Julian s world and painIn 1373, a thirty year old woman named Julian, living in East Anglia, England, began receiving visions what she later called sixteen showings that revealed to her the reality of the love of God When she wrote these down, they became the first English language book ever written by a woman In this groundbreaking biograohy, AMy Frykholm recreates Julian s world and paints a vivid picture of a remarkable woman s place in it.

    672 Comment

    • Kathryn says:

      I finished reading this short book (which is more of a contemplative book than a biography) last evening. I am quite devoted to Julian of Norwich (c. 1342 – c. 1416), who in 14th century England wrote Revelations of Divine Love, believed to be the earliest surviving book written in the English language by a woman. And I very much enjoyed reading this book.It is not quite accurate to say that the author took liberties with the known facts of Julian’s life, because very little indeed is known [...]

    • Ethan Mandel says:

      Captivating meditation on Julian of Norwich. Delves into the life of medieval Norwich, the plague, and other influences behind Julian's writing and transformation. Absolutely loved this book, and it has inspired me to read further into her.

    • James says:

      As anyone who has delved into Julian will probably tell you, there is very little about her life that we can know for certain. We know she was a fourteenth century anchorite and that her Showings(or revelations) are universally praised for their beauty and depth. Rowan Williams has said that "Julian's Revelations may well be the most important work of Christian reflection in the English Language." Yet when we try to untangle the details of her personal life, we have scant documentary evidence ab [...]

    • Benjamin Dueholm says:

      If Terence Malick isn't busy he should make a movie of this book. It's a beautiful, earthy, imaginative yet restrained essay on a great mystic whose life is not well known in detail but whose world and whose thought are marvelously reconstructed here.

    • Tanya Marlow says:

      This was a pleasant surprise. I would never have read this book if it hadn’t been given to me by a trusted friend, but boy, was I glad I did. It is a biography of Julian of Norwich which reads like a novel, and brings to life the sights and smells of medieval England. This means that it can gently explore her theology, with a few quotes from her writings, putting it into the context of a church that was fearful of doomsday and a society that was recovering from the trauma of multiple deaths fr [...]

    • Caitlin Michelle says:

      This was a particularly lovely account of Julian of Norwich, written is a careful style (the author masterfully incorporates many authentic phrases and sayings from Julian's own hand) that is indeed "Contemplative" and particularly accessible to the reader who doesn't come to the work with a background in Julian's writings, life or medieval mysticism. I approached this book with little-to-no knowledge of Julian's life and found myself quite engrossed. The endnotes, also, are particularly thoroug [...]

    • Jen says:

      Stress the "contemplative" in the title--no one really knows much about her life, so this is more of an artful blend of what we know of 14th century England and how her writings/theology would have developed in that environment. I would personally use the word "devotional" instead of "contemplative"--at least my reading experience was quite spiritual. I find this historical period quite fascinating, especially the closeness of religion to everyday common life. I'm also intrigued by the role of w [...]

    • Kristine says:

      Very interesting little book telling about the life of Julian of Norwich, England of the late 1300's. Julian loved God so much that her greatest desire was to be able to relate to the suffering of Jesus on the cross and asked God for this in the form of 3 requests. In 1373, Julian received a vision from God that answered these requests and set Julian on a path that would change the rest of her life. Julian would end up writing her story while living in an anchorage (connected to a church) for ov [...]

    • Erin says:

      Read for research before attempting Julian's Showings. This biography (perhaps not the right word) is meticulously researched but mostly fictionalized. As much as I would like a more clear-cut biography in terms of what we know about Julian of Norwich, versus what scholars guess about her, this book made her a person. That's really, really important, especially with a story of a holy woman who lived a long time ago, to be able to make sense of her choices and her life, even if the life we imagin [...]

    • Carol Peters says:

      I've long wanted to know more about the famous Julian of Norwich, so when I happened across this bio, I couldn't resist. It's definitely interesting & clearly/simply written. No doubt, I know more than I did. However, the text reads not like a biography but like a historical novel — too much detail to be believed based on the records that actually to exist. The author writes, "we have very little documentary evidence to work from." She then writes, "all biography is an act of empathetic im [...]

    • Charles Lewis says:

      I read this just after getting severe spinal surgery. Once home I was so doped up I can could barely concentrate on a newspaper story let along a book. Just before surgery I had started reading some of Julian's sayings. They were simple observations about holiness in the everyday. Fortunately for me, this bio is written in about as simple a style as could be imagined. This is not a criticism. Sometimes it's a enough to read a simple story of a simple saint. In any event, it kept me company durin [...]

    • Moira Crone says:

      A most unusual book, about the first woman who wrote a book in English. She is a contemplative who wanted to write down her visions. She did so. Frykholm is a sensitive and almost incandescent writer, who never strays too far from what could be known, and what is known, about this woman who decided she was going to leave the world during the times of the plagues,and describe God for the rest of her life.

    • Violinknitter says:

      This is not the kind of book I usually enjoy. There's not enough known of Lady Julian to write a true detailed biography of her. Novelized biographies usually drive me nuts, and there were still parts of the text that made the historian in me go "Huh? Are you sure?" But in general, I loved the sweet tone & Julian's thought interlaced in the text.

    • Anita says:

      A gentle read that immersed me in Julian's coastal city in late medieval England, Frykholm gets to the core of Julian's visions (or revelations, or showings), the truth and presence and indomitable power of Jesus' love. Julian gently held and lived with this vision her whole life, deepened in it, and listened and spoke from its truth with all who came to her anchorage to speak with her.

    • Sally says:

      I loved this book and have given copies to several people. Although not much is known about Julian's life she was the first female author in English that we know of. Ms Frykholm's attempt to reconstruct her life in the 14th century rings very true. I read this book slowly, a little at a time to absorb its contemplative feel.

    • Joyce says:

      Pretty interesting for non-fiction--I usually can't finish non-fiction because I fall asleep, but there was enough of a story line, or maybe because I really wanted to know about JulianI enjoyed learning about her, and Frykholm has done the world a service in telling this story!

    • Dan Brunner says:

      What a lovely book about a remarkable person! Reading this book changed the way I teach about both the mystics and Julian of Norwich in my church history class.The book, like a hazelnut, is a treasure.

    • Heidi says:

      Wonderful treatment of the life of Julian, down to quotidian details of her life, what it was like to be a woman called to write and pray, other women religious of her time, and the local cultural geography that shaped her. Reading this was an experience of prayer for me.

    • Ruth says:

      This is a beautiful speculative biography of Julian. I have been giving it to various people. I finished it while on a Colombia trip in February, & though Julian's time/place were so far removed, it was deeply nurturing & helped me process all the stories of pain we were listening to.

    • Meghan says:

      A luminous work of sensitive imagination and sensible extrapolation.

    • Chelsey says:

      Loved it - highly recommended.

    • Kaye Booth says:

      See my review here:examiner/literature-in

    • Amy says:

      Took me to 14th century England and introduced Julian of Norwich in such a way I would like to read a modern translation of her writing. Very well done.

    • Nancy says:

      this was good- I didn't know much about her, but it was interesting to find out more

    • Dennis Wahlquist says:

      For a biography based on virtually no first hand information, it's nicely done. I enjoyed getting to know a bit about the role of contemplative women in the 1300's. Decided to read her revelations.

    • Kris says:

      Loved this book so much, I had to learn more and read her revelations. Very gently and lovingly written.

    • John Hanscom says:

      Good, though a little dry.

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