[Review] Julian of Norwich: A Very Brief History by Janina Ramirez

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Over six hundred years ago a woman known as Julian of Norwich wrote what is now regarded as one of the greatest works of literature in English. Based on a sequence of mystical visions she received in 1373, her book is called Revelations of Divine Love.

Julian lived through an age of political and religious turmoil, as well as through the misery of the Black Death, and her writing engages with timeless questions about life, love and the meaning of suffering. But who was Julian of Norwich? And what can she teach us today?

Medievalist and TV historian Janina Ramirez invites you to join her in exploring Julian’s remarkable life and times, offering insights into how and why her writing has survived, and what we can learn from this fourteenth-century mystic whose work lay hidden in the shadows of her male contemporaries for far too long

This little book, a brief history of the Anchoress Julian of Norwich, is an utter delight. Dr Janina Ramirez takes us through a study of Julian’s life in her little cell and the book that she wrote whilst locked away from the world.

It really is a brief history at just over 80 pages but every page is full of knowledge. Ramirez writes with passion and it truly seeps through in her words, just as her enthusiasm for Julian came through in her recent television documentary.

The book is in sections with a short study of each topic – there’s sections on Julian’s life and then sections on her wonderful book “Revelations of Divine Love” which go into the meaning, the philosophy etc. Whilst there isn’t all that much information on Julian’s life before she was locked away, Ramirez takes us through the possibilities of who she could have been by dissecting “Revelations of Divine Love” – she could well have been a mother, given the way she writes. Was she a member of the nobility beforehand? Ramirez examines that by looking at records of those in Norwich who have the name Julian, coming to the conclusion that Julian of Norwich probably was this person in the records.

This little book is full of fascinating facts as well as scholarly study. It is an utter delight to read and is a book I will certainly be coming back to.

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Borgia inspired Ink

If any of you follow me on twitter I’m sure you’ve seen my tagline “Tattooed Renaissance Historian” – and that’s for good reason! I have a fair few tattoos, a couple of which are inspired by my very favourite Italian Renaissance family!

Today is my 29th birthday. I’ve been waiting for a while to get my next Borgia inspired tattoo but I though “why not get it on my birthday?” – so, I booked the appointment and off I toddled to the local tattoo artist.

And here is the final result:


Isn’t it just stunning?! As I’m sure you’re all aware I already have Cesare’s motto tattooed on my arm, but I wanted something else. And for the longest time the Borgia coat of arms has been in my head. I took the idea in to my local tattoo artist and he had a play with a few ideas until he came up with the above design. And I couldn’t be happier.

Do any of you guys have any historically inspired tattoos? Comment below or over on the facebook page!

For now, I shall be drinking red wine and eating Red Velvet Cake in celebration of being old!

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The Renaissance Preacher – Preorder NOW!


My second book “Girolamo Savonarola: The Renaissance Preacher” is coming on 8th August 2017. And it’s available to preorder NOW! Get your copy here.

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Free Book – Yes, you heard. FREE!

In anticipation of the release of my next book “Girolamo Savonarola: The Renaissance Preacher”, MadeGlobal publishing have released a brief and unique book on the friendship between Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and Girolamo Savonarola (written by me). And best of all, it’s FREE!

All you have to do is head on over to the MadeGlobal website, input your email and subscribe to the mailing list (but don’t worry, you won’t be spammed on what I’m doing every second of the day!) and that’s that, you’ll have a free ebook to tide you over until the Renaissance Preacher is released.

A huge thank you to everyone who signs up to the mailing list in order to get their hands on this little book I’ve written – your support means the absolute world and I couldn’t have done any of this without ANY of you guys.


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The Renaissance Preacher Cover Reveal

Today I am super pleased to show you all the cover of my upcoming book – “Girolamo Savonarola: The Renaissance Preacher”. Keep your eyes pealed for preorder info and release date – all coming VERY SOON!


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