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Taylor Caldwell (1900–1985)

Author of Dear and Glorious Physician

104+ Works 7,114 Members 96 Reviews 16 Favorited

About the Author

Taylor Caldwell was born in Manchester, England in 1900. Her family emigrated to the United States in 1907. She attended the University of Buffalo. Caldwell began writing stories at age eight. She wrote several best-selling novels including Dynasty of Death, The Strong City, The Sound of Thunder, show more Bright Flows the River and Answer As a Man. She wrote historical fiction and some of her titles contained religious themes. She also wrote under the pen name Max Reiner. Her memoir, Growing Up Tough, was published in 1971. Her titles won her numerous awards including the National League of American Pen Woman Gold Medal, Buffalo Evening News Award, Grand Prix Chatvain and two International Awards for Book of the Year. She died in Greenwich, Connecticut on September 2, 1985. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Taylor Caldwell

Dear and Glorious Physician (1958) 999 copies
Great Lion of God (1970) 563 copies
Testimony of Two Men (1968) 401 copies
A Pillar of Iron (1965) 383 copies
I, Judas (1977) 269 copies
Answer As A Man (1981) 267 copies
This Side of Innocence (1946) 262 copies
Glory and the Lightning (1974) 233 copies
Ceremony of the Innocent (1706) 225 copies
Bright Flows the River (1800) 207 copies
The Listener (1960) 174 copies
A Prologue to Love (1932) 160 copies
Dynasty of Death (1938) 146 copies
Grandmother and the Priests (1963) 145 copies
The Earth is the Lord's (1941) 135 copies
Tender Victory (1900) 124 copies
Dialogues with the Devil (1967) 124 copies
The Devil's Advocate (1952) 123 copies
The Romance of Atlantis (1975) 115 copies
Melissa (1900) 106 copies
Let Love Come Last (1949) 100 copies
The Arm and the Darkness (1943) 93 copies
No One Hears but Him (1966) 79 copies
The Sound of Thunder (1957) 69 copies
The Eagles Gather (1940) 67 copies
The Late Clara Beame (1963) 60 copies
The Strong City (1798) 57 copies
The Final Hour (1972) 56 copies
Wicked Angel (1965) 52 copies
The Wide House (1970) 49 copies
On Growing Up Tough (1971) 49 copies
The Balance Wheel (1951) 48 copies
The Turnbulls (1943) 44 copies
To Look and Pass (1973) 42 copies
Maggie - Her Marriage (1953) 39 copies
Time No Longer (1965) 38 copies
There Was a Time (1947) 35 copies
Your Sins and Mine (1959) 28 copies
The Beautiful Is Vanished (1951) 15 copies
To See the Glory (1963) 7 copies
Doce Vitória 2 copies
Unto All Men (2012) 2 copies
Ein ruhm reicher Sieg (1975) 1 copy
Ni Un Minuto Mas (1965) 1 copy
Iki Tanik 1 copy
Perdidos para el amor (1976) 1 copy
Prelude a lamour (1983) 1 copy
Wide House 1 copy
In einem grossen Land. (1990) 1 copy
1965 1 copy
1994 1 copy
El Que Escucha (1988) 1 copy
Os Abutres 1 copy

Associated Works


Common Knowledge



"Great Lion of God" is a historical novel about the life of Saul ben Hillel of Tarsus, better known to most people as Paul the Apostle or Saint Paul. Using a vast amount of sources including the Holy Bible, history books, works of the Catholic Encyclopedia, St, Paul’s Gospel, writings by Plato and Aristotle, and information attained at the Vatican Libraries and Museums of Athens and Israel, Taylor Caldwell pieces together the life story of Paul from his teenage years to his final journey back to Rome where he was executed around the time of 64 to 68 AD.

Authors that have the ability to write Biblical historical novels with absolute authenticity and evoke powerful emotions from the reader are few and far between. Taylor Caldwell was truly a gifted writer. She is brilliant at recreating the cultural environment, political atmosphere, emotional scenes, and likely dialogue of all characters.

It is fascinating to read an explanation of how Christianity evolved, starting with Jewish people accepting Jesus as the Christ, and at the onset this new phenomena was considered to be just another sect of Judaism - all praying together at the Jewish Temple. It wasn’t until Gentiles started to accept Christ and partake in the ritual of Baptism that Christian Churches were built. And all the while Rome was seething because this new religion was causing disruptions in Jerusalem’s society (which was under Roman control). The Romans did not want to hear about this new “King of the Jews”. That was treason. Caesar was the one and only King.

I’d like to share an interesting quote by Titus Milo, A Roman Statesman, about the condition of Rome around the year 25 AD, “Each day that passes sees more onerous taxes inflicted on the industrious and reverent and productive men, for the enhancement of a lavish court, subsidies for farmers, the looting of politicians, the free housing built for the idle, slothful, stupid and degenerate mobs, the free entertainment provided for those self-same mobs, the erection of grand government buildings to shelter the ever-growing and lustful armies of the bureaucrats and other petty officials, the granaries which dispense free food to the rabble… and the ambitious dreams… to remake the streets, the alleys, the roads, the houses and villas and the countryside of Rome… the wars to nourish the manufactories which make war materials… drain the public purse - now almost empty.” and his grandfather Aulus replied, “No nation took that path without perishing. So Rome must perish.” And it did! History repeats itself - Is the United States on a similar path to destruction?

Juxtaposed with Rome’s days of glory and rise to the peak of their power was Paul’s spiritual struggle. Saul, the devout Jewish Pharisee, was not an easy convert. He was an Orthodox Jew and considered the whole idea of Jesus being the Savior a blasphemy against God. "Great Loin Of God" follows Saul’s spiritual journey from non-believer to becoming Paul the Apostle, one of Jesus’ most faithful followers. While all the other Apostles were busy converting Jews to Christianity, Paul was the first and only Apostle to focus solely on converting Gentiles (non-Jewish Idol worshipers). He sacrificed everything in life to spread the word of God and help others find salvation.

This is an incredible story told by an extraordinary author.

Rated 5 Stars September 2023
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LadyLo | 8 other reviews | Sep 29, 2023 |
I literally am enraged at every character in this book... absolutely infuriating.
Writing is amazing though. I read it in it's entirely in one day.
MariaStroud | 1 other review | Aug 25, 2023 |
SrMaryLea | 8 other reviews | Aug 22, 2023 |
Reading Taylor Caldwell’s novels is like wading through a daisy field of land mines - the beauty of life destroyed by one explosive revelation after another. Perhaps it is all fiction, but so close to the truth it shatters one’s illusions and reveals the harsh realities of life. Nothing is simple about Caldwell’s writing, and "The Strong City" is no exception.

Published in 1942, this lengthy saga takes place in Pennsylvania in the late 1800s and spans almost two decades in an era where a typical lifespan was a mere 40 years. It is the story of the son of German immigrants, Franz Stoessel. Living in poverty in the slums of Nazareth PA, with his aging parents Franz gets a job at the local steel mill and is determined to become rich and powerful. He is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed - no morals, no scruples, no integrity. With that approach, how could he fail?

Taylor Caldwell is a gifted story teller. She paints a vivid picture and leaves nothing to the imagination. Her character development is extraordinary. As each character enters a scene their psyche is laid naked - the reader learns of their physical appearance, down to the simplest detail of facial expressions, and more importantly, their deepest personal thoughts. She analyzes human behavior - the character’s motivations, fears, self defense mechanisms, methods of envious retaliation, sly hypocrisy, brutal force, and the effects of love and faith. Each character has a complex personality - just like in real life. Every emotion of each character is explored in full depth.

The story does not touch on German history, but many of the characters are 1st and 2nd generation immigrants - a mix of French, English, and German. The turmoil taking place in Germany and adjoining countries which caused many people to leave Europe obviously left a bitter taste. They came to America for a better life, and with open contempt and prejudice they stereotyped others, many times in a cruel negative way, expressing animosity, mis-trust, and hatred for each other. Even within the German immigrant community - the Bavarian and Saxony Germans had little regard for the Prussian Germans. Taylor Caldwell puts all this emotion into the plot through dialogue, and revealing the character’s most harsh personal thoughts. No author would dare write this way today.

"The Strong City" might have been rated a 5 Star book, but I could not bring myself to believe the extent of evil portrayed in so many of the characters was a representation of real life. Taylor Caldwell certainly saw the worst in mankind and expressed that throughout the story. She viewed all her characters with cynicism, leading them, body and soul, through a treacherous labyrinth to a depressing and disturbing conclusion.

Rated 4 Stars August 2023
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LadyLo | Aug 5, 2023 |



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