Book Series Medieval Women: Texts and Contexts, vol. 5

The Writings of Julian of Norwich

'A Vision Showed to a Devout Woman' and 'A Revelation of Love'

Nicholas Watson, Jacqueline Jenkins (eds)

  • Pages: 474 p.
  • Size:175 x 255 mm
  • Illustrations:6 b/w
  • Language(s):English, Middle English
  • Publication Year:2006

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-52296-8
  • Hardback
  • Available

This edition contains two texts by Julian of Norwich (c. 1343–c. 1416): A Vision Showed to a Devout Woman and A Revelation of Love.


"(...) in this edition of Julian, we have fresh textual scholarship, uncompromising sensitivity to editorial issues, audience friendly (but weighty) supplementary materials, and a rich, majestic presentation of the text all in one. (...) readers could pick up and study any one page of this edition - that could take an hour or two to do fully - and experience what a gift and tool Watson and Jenkins have given us." (M. Calabrese, in: The Medieval Review, 07.10.28)


Nicholas Watson is Professor of English at Harvard University.
Jacqueline Jenkins is Associate Professor of English at the University of Calgary.


Julian of Norwich (c. 1343–c. 1416) is the earliest woman writer of English we know about. Although she described herself as 'a simple creature unlettered', Julian is now widely recognized as one of the great speculative theologians of the Middle Ages, whose thinking about God as love has made a permanent contribution to the tradition of Christian belief. This book presents a much needed new edition of Julian’s writings in Middle English, one that makes possible the serious reading and study of her thought not just for specialists but for all medievalists. This edition includes separate texts of both Julian’s works, A Vision Showed to a Devout Woman and A Revelation of Love, with modern punctuation and partly regularized spelling; a second, analytic edition of A Vision printed underneath the text of A Revelation to facilitate study of the relationship between the works; facing-page explanatory notes, with translations of difficult words and phrases, cross-references to other parts of the text, and citations of biblical and other sources; an appendix of life-records and early responses to Julian's thought; and an analytic bibliography. The volume also provides an accessible introduction to Julian’s life and writings.

'This is a fine, and very welcome, addition to the growing corpus of scholarly work on what may well be the most important work of Christian reflection in the English language' — Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.