Remarkable Norwich woman to be focus of week-long celebration

David Holgate's statue of Julian at Norwich Cathedral.

David Holgate's statue of Julian at Norwich Cathedral. - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

She was a mystic living in Norwich in the 14th Century whose descriptions of strange visions became a world-famous book, yet many people in the city remain unaware of her.

But next month, a celebration aims to shed more light on Julian of Norwich, whose book 'Revelations of Divine Love' is considered to be the earliest surviving example of an English-language book written by a woman.

Penned 20 years after she lay in a secluded cell on what she believed was her deathbed, Julian of Norwich's works, which introduced the idea of God as a loving maternal figure, was relatively obscure until the 20th century.

Her writings then found great popularity and admirers continue to visit St Julian's Church off Rouen Road, built on the site where her cell was believed to have been.

And next month, Norwich will host the first ever Julian Week, using daily talks, film, an exhibition, concerts and readings to

raise awareness of one of the city's most remarkable historical figures.

The week is being co-ordinated by Louise Øhrstrøm, a Danish novelist, translator and PhD student at the University of East Anglia, who has translated Julian of Norwich's 'Showing Of Love' into Danish.

Most Read

She said: 'While Julian is gaining influence worldwide, regularly attracting visitors to Norwich and playing an important role in the bid for Norwich to become a Unesco City of Literature, she still remains relatively unknown by citizens of her own city.

'Julian Week is a new annual awareness week celebrating the legacy of Julian of Norwich. It encourages citizens of Norwich or visitors to learn about Julian and her artistic, historical and theological significance through a wide range of events.'

The inaugural Julian Week takes place from Monday, May 6 until Friday, May 10 and includes a series of free events bringing together organisations and institutions such as HEART (Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust), the Writers' Centre, the Millennium Library, Fusion, the UEA and the Friends of Julian of Norwich.