1 Throughout this Introduction I will distinguish between Kempe, the author of the Book, and Margery, its protagonist. See my early essay, "Margery Kempe: Social Critic," Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 22 (1992), 159-84, which was incorporated into chapter 2 of Margery Kempe's Dissenting Fictions (University Park: Pennsylvania State Press, 1994).

2 In 1438 a Margery Kempe was admitted into the Guild of the Trinity of Lynn. See Meech, The Book of Margery Kempe, Introduction, p. li and Appendix III, 1, p. 358. For a discussion of the social and economic dynamics of late medieval towns, see Alice Stopford Green, Town Life in the Fifteenth Century (London: Macmillan, 1894. Reissued New York: Macmilllan, 1907).

3 For further comments of Kempe's handling of the concept of community see Staley, Margery Kempe's Dissenting Fictions, particularly chapters 2 and 5.

4 For these, see Michael Goodlich, "The Contours of Female Piety in Later Medieval Hagiography," Church History 50 (1981), 20-32; Thomas J. Heffernan, Sacred Biography: Saints and Their Biographers in the Middle Ages (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988).

5 On the subject of virginity, see Elizabeth Castelli, "Virginity and Its Meaning for Women's Sexuality in Early Christianity," Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 2 (1986), 61-88.

6 On the subject of male scribes and the use some women writers made of the trope of the scribe, see Staley, Margery Kempe's Dissenting Fictions, chapter 1.

7 For full accounts of these hands and transcriptions of the annotations, see Meech, The Book of Margery Kempe, Introduction, pp. xxxv-xlv, as well as the scrupulous notes throughout his edition.

8 For comments about ink and handwriting, I would like to thank Michele Brown of the British Library, who very kindly conferred with me about the manuscript. I must, however, take full responsibility for the observations themselves, as well as for the possibility of error.

9 For a description of this ceremony, which was developed particularly in Cluniac houses in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, see Miri Rubin, Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) p. 155.

10 For a discussion of these comments as reinforcing the Book's Latinity, see Karma Lochrie, Margery Kempe and Translations of the Flesh (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991), pp. 119-22.

11On this subject, see A. I. Doyle and M. B. Parkes, "The Production of Copies of the Canterbury Tales and the Confessio Amantis in the Early Fifteenth Century," in Medieval Scribes, Manuscripts, and Libraries: Essays Presented to N. R. Ker, eds. Malcolm Parkes and Andrew G. Watson (London: Scolar Press, 1978), pp. 163-212; Seth Lerer, "Textual Criticism and Literary Theory: Chaucer and His Readers," Exemplaria 2 (1990), 329-345; Lee W. Patterson, "Ambiguity and Interpretation: A Fifteenth-Century Reading of Troilus and Criseyde," Speculum 54 (1979), 297-330; Paul Strohm, "Chaucer's Fifteenth-Century Audience and the Narrowing of the Chaucer Tradition," SAC 4 (1982), 3-32.

12 Meech does not note these instances.

13 For a discussion of the literary analogue for what appears an artless detail, see Gail McMurray Gibson, The Theater of Devotion: East Anglian Drama and Society in the Late Middle Ages (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1989), p. 51.

14 For a good introduction to this subject, see the collection of essays edited by G. L. Harriss, Henry V: The Practice of Kingship (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985).

15 The growing literature on gender and the subject of civil, religious, and domestic authority is vast and no note can do it justice. However, see, for example: David Aers, Community, Gender, and Individual Identity: English Writing, 1360-1430 (London: Routledge, 1989); Alcuin Blamires, "The Wife of Bath and Lollardy," Medium Ævum 58 (1989), 224-42; Natalie Zemon Davis, "Woman on Top," in Society and Culture in Early Modern France (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975), pp. 124-51; Carolyn Dinshaw, Chaucer's Sexual Poetics (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989); Louise O. Fradenburg, "The Wife of Bath's Passing Fancy," SAC 8 (1986), 31-58; Thomas Hahn, "Teaching the Resistant Woman: The Wife of Bath and the Academy," Exemplaria 4 (1992), 431-40; Elaine Tuttle Hansen, "The Wife of Bath and the Mark of Adam," Women's Studies 15 (1988), 399-416; Lee Patterson, Chaucer and the Subject of History (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991), pp. 280-317; Barrie Ruth Straus, "The Subversive Discourse of the Wife of Bath: Phallocentric Discourse and the Imprisonment of Criticism," ELH 55 (1988), 527-54; Paul Strohm, Hochon's Arrow: The Social Imagination of Fourteenth-Century Texts (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992), chapter 7, "Treason in the Household."