Margery Kempe possessed only limited literacy, and required a scribe to whom she dictated her Book.  It is evident, however, that she had a rich oral familiarity with the articles of the faith, the lives of the saints, and popular devotional texts. Throughout the Book she mentions by name books that were read to her and specific saints and spiritual leaders after whom she modeled her own life.  The life stories and books were widely disseminated during the Middle Ages and she speaks of hearing books read to her. In chapters 17, 58, and 62 she speaks with a familiarity with such works as Incendium Amoris, Stimulus Amoris, and The Scale of Perfection. She uses the expression "any other book that she ever heard read" (chapter 17) when referring to mystical writings, indicating that these texts were read to her by her confessor.

Mysticism implies attaining a union with God beyond that reached through individual prayer, good works or attending worship services. It involves rising above the material world through acts of contemplation that purge the soul of sin. Margery Kempe testifies that her spirituality was often confused with hysteria or sham religion because her expression was so personal. Her behavior, especially her deep devotion to the "manhood of Christ", can be associated to the prevalent medieval concept of the mystical marriage.  Most at issue, it seems, is that she was highly vocal regarding her mystical experiences. However, the basic idea of an intense devotion to the Passion of Christ and empathy for his suffering was quite common. Kempe’s spirituality would have been heavily influenced by other mystical figures of medieval Europe, such as Julian of Norwich (1342-{1416-1423}), Richard Rolle (1300-1349), Walter Hilton (d. 1396), Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373), St. Bonaventure (1221-1274), St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231), and Mary of Oignies (d.1213).

Kempe’s acts of devotion include meditation, weeping, fasting, wearing white clothing, and abstaining from sex and meat. Highly vivid and emotional visions of Passion Christ's and images of sexual or marital union also typify her mysticism with God. During these experiences, Kempe seems to actually feel the pain of Christ. These actions and emotions parallel those felt and performed by other mystical figures. A strong correlation exists between the life of Margery Kempe and that of Mary of Oignies, for example. Both had very similar religious and personal experiences. Living as a hermit and extreme asceticism are other signifiers of mysticism not espoused by Margery.

See also Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) 
Margaret of Oingt (ca. 1240-1310)
Nicholas Love, and The Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), The Imitation of Christ, 1425

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