Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen
A triumphant portrait of a resilient and courageous woman and the life she might have lived . . .Skillfully interweaving historical fact with psychological insight and vivid imagination, Sharratt’s redemptive novel, Illuminations, brings to life one of the most extraordinary women of the Middle... show more
A triumphant portrait of a resilient and courageous woman and the life she might have lived . . .Skillfully interweaving historical fact with psychological insight and vivid imagination, Sharratt’s redemptive novel, Illuminations, brings to life one of the most extraordinary women of the Middle Ages: Hildegard von Bingen, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath.Offered to the Church at the age of eight, Hildegard was entombed in a small room where she was expected to live out her days in silent submission as the handmaiden of a renowned but disturbed young nun, Jutta von Sponheim. Instead, Hildegard rejected Jutta’s masochistic piety and found comfort and grace in studying books, growing herbs, and rejoicing in her own secret visions of the divine. When Jutta died some thirty years later, Hildegard broke out of her prison with the heavenly calling to speak and write about her visions and to liberate her sisters and herself from the soul-destroying anchorage. Riveting and utterly unforgettable, Illuminations is a deeply moving portrayal of a woman willing to risk everything for what she believed.“With elegance and sensitivity, Mary Sharratt rescues Hildegard von Bingen from the obscurity of legend, bringing to life the flesh-and-blood woman in all her conflict, faith, and unwavering tenacity. Illuminations is an astonishing revelation of a visionary leader willing to sacrifice everything to defend her beliefs in a dangerous time of oppression.”—C. W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
Publish date: October 9th 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages no: 274
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, Historical Fiction
Mary Sharratt has done it again. She has a unique talent for taking historical characters and creating fabulous stories about them. She did it with DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHING HILL if you recall, I raved and raved about this book. Now she does it with Illuminations. A fantastic story, about an insp...
Skillfully weaving historical fact with psychological insight and vivid imagination, Illuminations brings to life one of the most extraordinary women of the Middle Ages: Hildegard von Bingen, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath. Offered to the Church at the age of eight, Hildegard was expect...
I never thought that I would enjoy a story about an 11th C. nun as much I did, especially given that her story was not all butterflies and daisies. Much of her life was spent in a secluded monastery, and the conditions were very harsh and challenging. It wasn't pleasant to read about, but the way Sh...
Another book I just loved from the first line. While I was predisposed to love this novel since I adore all things Hildegard, Sharratt's articulation of the woman behind the legend is what made me unable to put this book down. (That, and the reality of what religious monastic life meant for Hildeg...
An absolutely fantastic book about the inspirational Hildegard of Bingen. Although a fiction book, Illuminations is steeped in truth about the real life of Hildegard.Illuminations imagines how Hildegard's life really was, starting at the age of eight, when she was given to the church as a handmaiden...