by Sarah Weber
Anchoress is the Medieval term for a female religious recluse who vows to live in complete seclusion, never to leave a small cell within the church. A woman who decides to live this life makes this decision not for an escape from reality, though it may seem so, but to advance spiritually and live a contemplative. When a woman makes this vow, she is considered dead to the outside world, were the nuns. A funeral is even held, reflecting the seriousness of this decision. Although few women decided to pursue this life, it was not all uncommon. Many are familiar with Julian of Norwich, an anchoress who wrote down her "revelations" seen during her seclusion in a collection of works entitled "A Book of Showings( The Norton Anthology, English Literature Sixth Ed. Vol.1)."