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I, Julian: The fictional autobiography of Julian of Norwich

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I have never felt so alive,’ Julian says at her ‘funeral’, when she enters the walled cell which she will inhabit for decades. To become a subscriber to Slightly Foxed: The Real Reader’s Quarterly Magazine, please visit our subscriptions page. There are also vivid descriptions of the multiple miscarriages – ‘13 graves in my heart’ – suffered by Julian’s friend, Isabel.

I fell in love with her candour, her lively language, the immediacy of her visions as she conveyed them in her writing. In Gilbert’s account, Julian was just a child when she watched her father, a Norwich wool merchant, die in agony from the plague, and when her visions begin she assumes she too is dying of the pestilence – as her husband and daughter have done. This rather wonderful fictional autobiography was published to coincide with the 650th anniversary of Julian first experiencing, in May 1373, the series of 16 visions she wrote about in Revelations of Divine Love.

Seeds germinate, sap rises, birdsong erupts, spirit lifts and expands and loves all that is made: it is so very good. I, Julian is beautifully written, capturing the voice of a woman we can only really know through very brief historical records and her own centuries old words with a clarity that is compelling.

The Timeline at the end is a fascinating and bittersweet summary of the life and times of Dame Julian of Norwich. This book is going to introduce many new readers to Julian and inspire others who know her slightly to go back with fresh eyes and a reinvigorated sense of how her writing developed and in what sort of historical setting.Very little that is solid fact is known about her life, but of her existence and writings there is no doubt. 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.

Mrs Woolf, wife of the manager, is a very celebrated author and, in her own way, more important than Galsworthy. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. using no words save perhaps one word, and with that little word gently repeating my soul quietens and softens and the little word enters me and brings me to deep, deep rest in my soul, which becomes no place.Claire Gilbert inhabits Julian of Norwich in the way that Hilary Mantel immersed herself in Cromwell.

You can unsubscribe from our list at any point by changing your preferences, or contacting us directly. And the person speaking would after a time fall into silence, and she would hold their gaze with her loving look, and the love would reflect in their faces as sweet lightness. The Hogarth Press where I’m working, is in the heart of the literary world, with authors coming in all the time. Julian's voice rings out true on every page and a deep understanding of her world and her work underpins each line.Thank you to Net Galley and the publishers, John Murray for providing me with an advance reading copy. Written with profound insight, spiritual and psychological, and a rare sensitivity to the everyday world of the fourteenth century, it is a brilliantly illuminating companion to one of the greatest works of spiritual writing in English. Julian's meditative and other spiritual practices give her insights that almost match those of Buddhism.

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