Nuggets of Gold: The Lamenting Laity.
A wise professor of mine once said to me "Every piece of historical evidence is a nugget of pure gold”. "Wow” I thought, what a precious commodity. Could every piece of evidence hold such importance that it can be easily comparable to one of the most precious metals on earth? The answer is that it is easily comparable and exceedingly important. Evidence of a historical nature is in a sense more precious than any nugget of gold. A nugget of gold is good for a limited number of things: currency, the enhancement of beauty, and any extraneous circumstances linked with those two base uses. In a sense, evidence is like gold whereas every bit of it is precious, and should be treasured and handled with care. Historical evidence is something from which countless information can be drawn. It can be used over and over again to open doors and solve puzzles that develop as new information is discovered elsewhere. Evidence gives a more comprehensive and less biased view to the historians' perspective. Just as gold has been known to bring pleasure and pain to humankind, historical evidence can bring insight just as well as confusion. If it does bring confusion, the historian must remember that every piece of evidence is as precious as a nugget of gold and the good new is - it will always fit into the complex puzzle of history somewhere. .
The two sources that will be discussed in this paper in terms of evidence are "Concerning the Pope” by John Wyclif, (Andrea p. 394-5) a condensed version of a larger work "Concerning the Pope's Power” that discusses the corruption of the papacy and the opinion that the pope is easier likened to the antichrist than to God's messenger on earth. The second source is The Book of Margery Kempe translated and edited by Lynn Staley. This work traces one woman's quest for spirituality and supposedly her unending need to serve God as best as she can.