The Book of Margery Kempe by Margery Kempe (trans. BA Windeatt) going to Jermusalem, at Jerusalem, and after
Kempe’s Reflections on Jerusalem and What It took Her to get there


Kempe is still focused on the mistreatment she receives from the men in her travelling group and the consequences of how she deals with her emotions. She discusses her helplessness in stopping her tantrums during this chapter also (Kempe 102-107). As for the bullying she has to deal with,  she claims to have gotten banned from eating dinner with those she is traveling with and that they refused to buy her the bedding she required for the ship ride to Jerusalem (Kempe 102); in defiance of this message telling her to depart from their group, Kempe buys her own bedding and tells the group plainly that she will join them (Kempe 102) Adding to that, she is very focused on God and doesn’t miss his message to not take the ship to Jerusalm that she was scheduled to (Kempe 102). Kempe documents that she was riding a donkey when she caught sight of Jerusalem. Kempe does not fail to give two pilgrims from Germany credit for helping her make sure that she didn’t fall off her donkey when her emotions took over.  During her time in Jerusalem, Kempe took a 24-hour trip to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Kempe 103-104. 102-107). At the end of Chapter 28, Kempe mocks people who judge her harshly for the way she cries because of her sadness for Christ. She refers to her bullies as not  religious and therefore horrible .Her account of whom she is referring to is so specific that it makes me wonder if she was describing someone she knew without naming them. She also implies that it is okay for people to die after being accussed of crimes that they did not commit because of their wongdoings, which I find very disturbing. Kempe seems to only have empathy for Christ. (Kempe 106-107)

I believe that we can infer that Kempe’s medieval culture did not place the emphasis of treating people well that ours does. I believe this really stands out when Kempe doesn’t describe anyone coming to her defense and sticking up for her when her sheet is stollen or when the whole group refuses to get her sheets (Kempe 102, 102-107). It’s actually quite ironic because her companions are supposed to be going on a trip in order to celebrate and practice a religion that demands kindness.Travelling by donkey sounds awesome to me given the adorable donkey I meet at farm camp one summer. Getting to ride a donkey is not something I would consider usual today; however, it would be hard to imagine that Kempe was surprised by her opportunity to ride a donkey (Kempe 103). I am struggling to understand how Kempe’s religious feelings when she got back to England grew stronger over time. It seems like it would have been the other way around as more time since the pilgrimage would make the memories more vague (Kempe 105, 103-105). I believe that Kempe’s purpose for recording this piece of writing is to use it as a way of interacting with her own thoughts and feelings. This is because of the anger and resentment her tone gives off. This would mean that she was not necessarily writing to anybody, but rather for herself. (Kempe 107, 102-107)


Margery Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe, trans. BA Windeatt. Chapter 28. Penguin Books, 1985, 102-107.