Hadewijch was a 13th century poet and mystic, probably living in the Duchy of Brabant. Her writings include visions, prose letters and poetry. No details of her life are known outside the sparse indications in her own writings. These indicate she was involved in the then emerging Beguine movement. That she would have been a nun can be excluded, as her writings (primarily her prose letters) show that she travelled and lived in several places, and in general her writings lack references to life in a convent. She must have come from a wealthy family: she had a wide knowledge of literature and theological treatises in several languages, including Latin and French, in a time when studying was a luxury only exceptionally granted to women. Hadewijch is considered to be a precursor to the mystic and theologian Jan van Ruysbroek, who developed many of her ideas, but in a more theologically systematic way.
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