Julian lived in Norwich from 1342 to 1416, but 14th century England was far from the Merry Old England of legend. It was the time of the Black Death, which struck Norwich at least three times during her life. It was also a period of social unrest brought on by the shortage of labour, high taxes and bad harvests which led to the Peasantsí Revolt.
There are few sure facts about Julianís life. But at the age of 30, while living at home with her mother, she believed herself to be dying with a serious illness. It was at this time she had a series of visions of Jesus. On her recovery, she recorded them in brief and then 20 years later, as an anchoress, wrote them down in a longer form in the Middle-English of Chaucer.