Margery Kempe: Medieval Mysticism or Psychosis?

Margery Kempe: mystic, autobiographer…schizophrenic?

In honour of Mental Health Awareness week, Dr Cat Jarman is joined by Dr Alison Torn from Leeds Trinity University to explore the complicated legacy of a woman who is credited as both the first English autobiographer, and case of schizophrenia.

However, how appropriate is it to view Kempe’s life through a 21st century understanding of mental health? Can we remove the cultural frameworks of 15 century England and confidently diagnose a psychosis? 

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