Julian of Norwich (1342–1423) is one of the greatest medieval English mystics and spiritual writers. Little is known of her life aside from her writings. She was last known to be alive in 1416 when she was seventy-three years old. Even her name is uncertain, the name “Julian” coming from the Church of St Julian in Norwich, where she was an anchoress.
At the age of thirty, suffering from a severe illness and believing she was on her deathbed, Julian had a series of intense visions of Jesus that she recorded, first as a simple narration and again as a longer text twenty years later. This latter text became her major work, called Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love (circa 1393) and is believed to be the first book written by a woman in the English language.