Ann the Word: The Story of Ann Lee, Female Messiah, Mother of the Shakers, The Woman Clothed with the Sun

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9780142002438: Ann the Word: The Story of Ann Lee, Female Messiah, Mother of the Shakers, The Woman Clothed with the Sun

Believed by her followers to have been the second incarnation of Christ, Ann Lee may be one of the most extraordinary and mysterious women in the history of Western culture. From humble origins in Manchester, England, she became the visionary religious leader of the Shakers, a small religious cult characterized by wild shaking, impassioned singing, speaking in tongues, and a belief that the end of the world was near. When she died at age forty-eight, having brought her faithful to America in 1774, she left behind a religious movement that was to have thousands of followers. Masterfully conveying the energy and strangeness of the Shakers in their radical early years, Ann the Word is a penetrating look at a pioneer who, in feminizing Christianity, contributed to the status of women in her own time and ever after.

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About the Author:

Richard Francis, novelist, broadcaster, and academic, is the author of Transcendental Utopias. He was a fellow at Harvard and has taught creative writing at universities in Britain and the United States.

Review:

'It is one of those books tht is utterly interesting for it's own sake' Jeanette Winterson 'A challenging reconstruction of a remote prophetic world' Evening Standard 'Scrupulously researched and deftly constructed.' City Life 'The first freestanding biography of the most powerful low-born religious woman since Joan of Arc. The Shakers were way different in Ann's day. They hung their chairs on the wall to create space for their dervish-like whirling, accompanied by raucous songs, shouting in tongues, calling out devils, falling down in ecstasy. Ann Lee was a holy terror.' Sunday Times 'The first biography of Ann Lee, the remarkable woman who led a tiny band of followers to America and founded a religious movement. Ann Lee's commonplace exterior belied her charisma and intuition. Despite beatings, incarceration and accusations of witchcraft, heresy and spying, she formed around herself a coherent, devoted group of converts ... Richard Francis has created a compelling image of this shadowy, shining woman and the God-fearing, God-obsessed world in which she lived.' Observer 'Ann Lee's transformation from illiterate Mancunian blacksmith's daughter to sovereign pontiff of a thriving New England sect is one of the more bizarre and fascinating byways of Anglo-American history. These heady days of Shakerism are unlikely to be better depicted than in this book, with its meticulously researched account of this heroic, indomitable, mesmerising, chastity-obsessed, and ultimately rather ghastly woman.' Sunday Telegraph 'Entertaining and absorbing. If you put it in the guest bathroom I guarantee long absences at dinner.' Jeanette Winterson, The Times

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Book Description Penguin USA, New York, 2002. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket. First Edition. Believed by her followers to have been the second incarnation of Christ, Ann Lee may be one of the most extraordinary and mysterious women in the history of Western culture. From humble origins in Manchester, England, she became the visionary religious leader of the Shakers - a small religious cult characterized by wild shaking, impassioned singing and dancing, speaking in tongues, and a belief that the end of the world was near. When she died in America at age 48, having brought her faithful to a new land on the eve of the American Revolution, she left behind a religious movement that was to have thousands of followers and become one of our most important and successful utopian communities. First Softcover American Edition. ; 12mo - over 6¾ - 7¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 002148

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