Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen reveals the unforgettable story of how Hildegard, offered as a tithe to the Church at the age of eight, triumphed against impossible odds to become the greatest woman of her age. Combining fiction, history, and Hildegardian philosophy, Illuminations presents an arresting portrait of a woman of faith and power--a visionary in every sense of the word.
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), Benedictine abbess and polymath, composed an entire corpus of sacred music and wrote nine books on subjects as diverse as theology, natural science, medicine, and human sexuality—a prodigious intellectual outpouring that put many of her male contemporaries to shame. Her prophecies earned her the title Sibyl of the Rhine. An outspoken critic of political and ecclesiastical corruption, she courted controversy and nearly died an excommunicant. Her courage and originality of thought continue to inspire people today.
Illuminations will be released in October 9 to celebrate Hildegard's long awaited canonization and elevation to Doctor of the Church.
"An enchanting beginning to the story of the perennially fascinating 12th-century mystic, Hildegard of Bingen. It is easy to paint a picture of a saint from the outside but much more difficult to show them from the inside. Mary Sharratt has undertaken this with sensitivity and grace."--Margaret George, author of Mary, Called Magdalene
Minnesota Book Award Finalist Mary Sharratt is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Summit Avenue (Coffee House Press, 2000), The Real Minerva (Houghton Mifflin, 2004), and The Vanishing Point (Houghton Mifflin, 2006).Sharratt is also the coeditor of the subversive fiction anthology Bitch Lit, a celebration of female antiheroes, strong women who break all the rules. Mary has lived in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England, for the past seven years, but returns regularly to her hometown of Minneapolis, where she teaches workshops at The Loft Literary Center. Learn more at
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