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For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain: A historical retelling

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Victoria MacKenzie & Rachelle Atalla

Based on the extraordinary lives of two real medieval women: Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe. MacKenzie's sumptuous debut For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain is a beautiful novel, both epic and intimate, about grief, trauma, revelation, hidden lives and the genesis of women’s writing.

Join us for an Edinburgh launch of this captivating historical novel - discover a new talent, rediscover two mystics hidden in history.

Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love is the first book in English by a woman; The Book of Margery Kempe is the first autobiography in English by a man or a woman.

In For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain, Margery and Julian tell their stories from girlhood to motherhood, with MacKenzie colouring in the blanks in their fascinating histories...

'Moving and unexpected, MacKenzie writes with great clarity and tenderness ... I tore through this' -Julia Armfield, author of Our Wives Under the Sea

In the year of 1413, two women meet for the first time in the city of Norwich.

Margery has left her fourteen children and husband behind to make her journey. Her visions of Christ have alienated her from her family and neighbours, and incurred her husband’s abuse – and placed her in danger with the men of the Church, who have begun to hound her as a heretic.

Julian, an anchoress, has not left Norwich, nor the cell to which she has been confined, for twenty-three years. She has told no one of her own visions – and knows that time is running out for her to do so. The two women have stories to tell one another, including revelations more powerful than the world is ready to hear. But there are more than stories at stake, for Julian has a secret to entrust to this stranger.

Their meeting will risk everything.

'Intimately observed, lyrically written and meticulously researched’ Kirsty Logan, author of Things We Say In The Dark

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