Illuminations

Illuminations

A Novel of Hildegard Von Bingen

Book - 2012
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A novel based on the true story of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), who was offered by her parents as a tithe to the Church as a young child and who triumphed to become a powerful abbess, composer, prophet and polymath.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, c2012
ISBN: 9780547567846
0547567847
Branch Call Number: Fiction Sha
Characteristics: xiv, 274 p. ; 24 cm

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Sarah17
Feb 21, 2017

This is a brilliant book about a largely unknown woman, Hildegarde of Bingen. She was in fact a formative mystic and author in 12th century Germany, and has been canonized. This book, written in the 1st person, tells her story starting as an 8-year-old, promised by her mother to be the companion to a 14-year-old girl who wishes to be an anchorite. Hildegarde spends 30 years bricked into a small space, first with one woman who rapidly descends into madness, and later with two young girls who are also confined by their aunt as anchoresses. Her break for freedom and her later life are equally enthralling. Mary Sharratt has written a real page-turner, although perhaps you wouldn't think so considering the subject matter, however, I thoroughly recommend this book.

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mesaminaux
Jul 13, 2016

This is the story of a true spiritual woman way ahead of her time. I will most likely pick up other books by this author. There were a few rough parts for me, such as the first few years in seclusion when she was a young child, but I still enjoyed this book. It reads as a full story, from childhood to her death, and by the end you really feel like you know Hildegard since "she" is telling the story.

a
alex59
Jul 15, 2015

Excellent book. Well-written and simply a good story. Gives an insight into the life and thoughts of a strong-willed, intelligent woman who was constricted by the times she lived in but lived the life she aspired to in spite of this.

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finn75
Nov 23, 2014

Brilliant. What a great story made more astounding to think it was based on a real life experience. Her experience of basically be bricked away is harrowing. To think women had to live that way for their entire lives!

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bigreader69
Sep 06, 2013

December 2014

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