I, Julian: The fictional autobiography of Julian of Norwich

Claire Gilbert

'I was completely hooked and considerably moved by the life and thoughts of this exceptional woman'

'It is as if we have finally found the lost autobiography of one of the medieval world's most important women.'


'A beautiful, intensely moving achievement'


In 1347, the first pestilence rages across the land. The young Julian of Norwich encounters the strangeness of death: first her father, then later her husband and her child. When she falls ill herself, she encounters mystical visions that bring comfort and concern. But in the midst of suspicion and menace, when the Church is actively condemning heretics, Julian is not safe.

I, Julian is the account of a medieval woman who dares to tell her own story.

Battling grief, plague, the church and societal expectations, and compelled by her powerful visions, Julian finds a way to live a life of freedom - as an anchoress, bricked up in a small room on the side of a church. Helped by Thomas, a Benedictine monk from Norwich Cathedral, she writers of what she has seen and offers word of counsel to others. Julian's manuscripts are protected by trusted sisters and are passed from hand to hand, become the first book to be written by a woman in English.

'So I will write in English, pressing new words from this beautiful plain language spoken by all. Not courtly French to introduce God politely. Not church Latin to construct arguments. English to show it as it is. Even though it is not safe to do so.'

Tender, luminous, meditative and powerful, Julian writes of her love for God, and God's love for the whole of creation. 'All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.'

'Written with profound insight, spiritual and psychological, and a rare sensitivity to the everyday world of the fourteenth century, I, Julian is a brilliantly illuminating companion to one of the greatest works of spiritual writing in English.' Rowan Williams, Magdalene College, Cambridge University

I, Julian won an Award of Merit in the Fiction Category in the Christianity Today awards, 2023, and was a finalist in the Religious Fiction category of the 2023 International Book Awards.

The cover design for I, Julian won an ECPA Top Shelf award in 2023.

  • Classification : HISTORICAL FICTION
  • Pub Date : APR 11, 2024
  • Imprint : Hodder Faith & Religious
  • Page Extent : 336
  • Binding : PB
  • ISBN : 9781399807548
  • Price : INR 799

Claire Gilbert

Claire Gilbert grew up in London, of Jewish, Scots, Spanish and English heritage. She writes and speaks about ethics and spirituality in politics and public life, medicine, ecology and on Julian of Norwich. She is Director of Westminster Abbey Institute. With her partner Seán she divides her time between London, Hastings and Ireland.

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