Julian of Norwich: Summary & Quotes

Julian of Norwich: Summary & Quotes
Coming up next: Growth of Early Christianity in Rome

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Julian of Norwich
  • 0:48 Julian the Anchoress
  • 1:36 Julian's Revelation
  • 2:21 The Message
  • 3:56 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up


Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Adrienne Maher
In this lesson, you'll learn about Julian of Norwich, the first published English woman writer. Her book, 'Revelations of Divine Love,' published in about 1393, was based on visions she received from God upon her recovery from a near-fatal illness.

Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich, born in about 1342, was the first English woman to ever publish a book. It was a religious book called Revelations of Divine Love, which she wrote in about 1393. A contemporary of Chaucer, she was one of the foremost writers of prose in medieval literature.

She is also one of the world's famous mystics. A mystic is someone who spends a great deal of his or her life in prayer and meditation and who believes he or she has received revelations from the Divine, which are passed on to other people through their writings and teachings. In the Middle Ages, a special kind of mystic was an anchorite, or anchoress if the person was a female.

Julian the Anchoress

An anchoress detached herself from the world to live a life of prayer, contemplation, and ministry to those who sought spiritual advice. She lived in a small room, or a cell, attached to the church, which, according to a 13th century rule, had three windows: one that opened into the Church, so she could hear Mass and receive the Blessed Sacrament; one to speak with her servant, who met her daily domestic needs; and one to give spiritual advice to people who came to her. Sometimes an anchoress moved among the parish, but she lived and spent most of her time in her cell. She was not considered to be detached from the world, but an anchor in the world. Julian took her name from the church where she was the anchor, the Church of St. Julian, in Norwich, England (about 100 miles Northeast of London).

Julian's Revelation

Julian of Norwich was not a nun, nor did she have a lifetime calling into her religious vocation. It is believed that she was a widow who had lost both a husband and child to the Black Plague. She became deathly ill at the age of 30, and this was the turning point in her life that made her a famous mystic and author for all time. She was so near death that a priest came to say last rites, but she had a miraculous recovery. During the few days after her illness suddenly left her, she received 16 revelations from God, which she later wrote down in her well-known book of mystical prose, Revelations of Divine Love. After receiving these revelations, she dedicated herself to a life of devotion to God.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account