Jane Lead entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Jane Lead was a seventeenth-century mystic and visionary, a diarist, and a pamphleteer. All her literary roles were aspects of her dominant calling, that of religious leader and 'Heavenly Spy'. Her later works used the medium of other people's hands to write them, because she was going blind. In her last years her writings, boosted by the energy and power of her sect, were read not only in England but internationally.
1623 or 1624 Jane Ward (later JL) was born in Norfolk. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
1670-1686 From the time of her first vision in the year of her husband's death, JL kept a private spiritual diary. Bibliographic Citation link.
1697-1701 JL's followers published her diary or spiritual autobiography, the first part as A Fountain of Gardens Watered by the Rivers of Divine Pleasure, And Springing up in all the Variety of Spiritual Plants. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
19 August 1704 JL died of stomach cancer, composing and dictating almost to the end. Bibliographic Citation link.
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