What makes Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich so special is that it is the very first book in English literature that was written by a woman. The book is of great interest not only for its historic value, but also for the spiritual values of the text that blend mysticism with a truly feminine approach to religion and faith.
Very little is known about the author's personal life. She was named Julian after the location of the cell she lived in - she was an anchoress, a Christian female recluse living withdrawn from the world, dedicating her life to prayer and her cell was built against the wall of the Church of Saint Julian in Norwich. As scholars deduced it from her writing, she was probably born around 1340 and she probably died around 1416 and she is believed to have come from a noble family as she was highly educated.
Revelations of Divine Love has two versions - the Short Text has survived in the form of a manuscript copied from the original; the Long Text contains a longer, slightly refashioned version intended for wider circulation. The topics discussed by Julian of Norwich include sin and how God suffers along with the world and its creatures when faced with evil and she also compares divine love to motherly love.
The text of the Revelations is dense, complex and highly metaphoric and it served as inspiration for many great scholars and writers during the five hundred years since it was written. T.S. Eliot quoted Julian of Norwich in his Little Gidding and in Four Quartets, too and, since 2013, Norwich celebrates Julian with a festival that lasts for one week and honors her as a literary, spiritual and cultural figure of great importance locally and internationally as well.
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