Revelations of Divine Love
Illustrated by Gemma Black
Introduced by Graham James
Translated by Barry Windeatt
One of the most significant works in English mysticism, and the first known book written in English by a woman.
Julian of Norwich continues to inspire devotion today, yet still little is known about her life. In 1373, at the age of 30, she was struck down by a terrible illness and at the point of death was seized with 16 visions, or ‘shewings’, which would become both the Short Text, written soon after her experiences, and the Long Text, in which Julian offers a deeper and more reflective examination. Having possibly taken her name from the church where she was confined as an anchoress – voluntarily sealed away in a cell attached to the church at Norwich – she spent decades in contemplation of God’s love.
‘Julian of Norwich is one of the most famous spiritual figures of the Middle Ages … This new translation conveys the beauty of her prose and her belief that we are beings capable of spiritual transformation’
Written in a simple, expressive style, Julian’s account is both vivid and affecting. Her visions contain the Passion of Christ, the Virgin Mary and the love of God, who reveals to her the entirety of creation in a ball ‘as small as if it had been a hazelnut’. Her direct manner and questioning nature make Julian an engagingly modern voice, and she envisions a loving God who promises an eventual end to suffering: ‘All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.’
Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, has written a thoughtful introduction that praises the accessibility of Julian's work, observing that ‘the spirit of her writings has a lightness which has travelled well down the centuries’. This edition is artfully decorated with a series of calligraphic designs by Gemma Black, while the binding reflects the contemplative nature of Julian’s writings.
Bound in blocked cloth
Set in English Engravers
Numerous hand-drawn decorative initials. Printed in 2 colours throughout
9˝ × 5¾˝
First published in Barry Windeatt’s translation by Oxford World’s Classics in 2015. The text of this edition follows that of the 2015 edition, with minor emendations