Item description for Mary, Called Magdalene by Margaret George...
Overview Draws on the Bible and secular historical research to present a fictional portrait of Mary of Magdala as she becomes part of Jesus' circle of disciples and comes into a realization of her faith.
The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Elizabeth I" brilliantly reimagines the story of the most mysterious woman in the Bible Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute, a female divinity figure, a church leader, or all of those? Biblical references to her are tantalizingly brief, but we do know that she was the first person to whom the risen Christ appeared--and the one commissioned to tell others the good news, earning her the ancient honorific, "Apostle to the Apostles." Today, Mary continues to spark controversy, curiosity, and veneration. In a vivid re-creation of Mary Magdalene's life story, Margaret George convincingly captures this renowned woman's voice as she moves from girlhood to womanhood, becomes part of the circle of disciples, and comes to grips with the divine. Grounded in biblical scholarship and secular research, this fascinating historical novel is also, ultimately, "the diary of a soul."
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Studio: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.51" Width: 5.5" Height: 1.45" Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Release Date May 27, 2003
Publisher Penguin (Non-Classics)
ISBN 0142002798 ISBN13 9780142002797 UPC 051488016007
Availability 0 units.
More About Margaret George
Margaret Georgeis theNew York Timesbestselling author of six novels of biographical historical fiction, includingElizabeth I;Helen of Troy;Mary, Called Magdalene;The Memoirs of Cleopatra;Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles; andThe Autobiography of Henry VIII. She also has coauthored a children s book, Lucille Lost."
Margaret George currently resides in Madison, in the state of Wisconsin. Margaret George was born in 1943.
Reviews - What do customers think about Mary, Called Magdalene?
Extremely illustrative, but not exactly historical May 22, 2008
Despite what many other reviewers have said, despite my reservations about this book, which mirror some of theirs, I have to say that this is a truly inspiring read. If you divorce yourself from all of the enormous emotionality of discussing a topic that is so important to so many, it's just a great story. That said, having read her first three more historical novels, it is disappointing to me how little of the novel is based in fact, and is, according to her own afterword, invented completely by her.
As a non-Christian, unaware of even the most rudimentary facts of Jesus's ministry and time on Earth, I found it to be a very enjoyable way to get a feel for what was compelling about Jesus and how the birth of Christianity fit into the pervading social, political and religious backdrop. It was also interesting how matter-of-factly she dealt with things like demons, possession and visions, which are such "hard-sells" in American society today (I've often wondered if the messiah returned, or arrived, if he or she would be hard-pressed to stay out of a mental hospital in order to build a ministry as Jesus did).
If you are religious, and well-schooled in the history of Jesus's life and religion, I can imagine you would find a lot to dislike about this telling, but without all that background, there is some to be learned (although with caution, given all that she invented) and much to enjoy in the telling.
Moving Jan 14, 2008
I LOVED this book!!! Was my Lenten read last year! I have always been curious about Mary Magdalen and this book does her tremendous justice! I highly recommend it!
A Wonderful Historical Novel Aug 13, 2007
Margaret George was born in Nashville Tennessee. When not continuing research for her novels in such places as Egypt, Rome, Israel and England she lives with her husband in Madison, Wisconsin. She is the author of many best selling historical novel including The Memoirs of Cleopatra and the Autobiography of Henry VIII.
This is a wonderful historical novel which asks the question, Who was Mary Magdalene? Her name first appears in the gospel of Mark. She was the one who discovered Jesus' resurrection, but before that little or nothing is heard or known of her. In the past she has been called many things by many people. Was she a prostitute as many learned scholars say, Was she a feminist icon, a church leader, perhaps none or all of these things.
Margaret George has researched closely much of the information that there is available about Mary and with the help of these she brings to life one of the most controversial characters of the scriptures. This is a work of fiction with facts interwoven into the story, as Margaret George tries to wipe away the myths that surround the life of Mary, Called Magdalene.
Dry, dull, and lifeless Jun 5, 2007
What a disappointment! Reading this book was such an odd experience. Every event that should have been dramatic and moving was bled so dry that it was like reading statistics. There was such a lack of emotion to it, it's as if the writer was being held at knifepoint and just doing her best to get it done. It felt like the story had been dragged out of the author, as if she had no real enthusiasm for it but had a commitment to write it anyway.
Based on a true story... Feb 6, 2007
You probably know the story, or at least scant details, but you don't know enough for the story to be spoiled and I won't give it away either because in this case, the delight is in the details.
This isn't one of those shameless books that base a premise on a disproved hoax and play up to the conspiracy crowd for sensation and controversy just to make a quick & dirty buck.
No, "Mary Called Magdalene" is based on facts consistent with the New Testament, with the Gospel according to Mary, with the Gnostic texts, and with writings of the early Church Fathers as well as with various historical secular texts.
I agree with Simon Jenkins that "Facts should be taskmasters, and there is no exemption for fiction." As he wrote in "The Guardian" on May 26, 2006 and said: "Historical novelists must not manipulate an audience's veneration for the truth with their phony verisimilitude". I personally found no abuse of dramatic license in this book.
The author, Margaret George is the renowned historical author of "Henry VII" and has thoroughly researched her facts then added details that would be logical consequences of those facts or plausible reasons for them. In addition to all that research, the author completed a seven year course in bible study covering 60 of the 66 books and traveled extensively both in distance and duration through the middle east. There is a great author interview in the back of the book that covers her background and the motivations for her decisions & choices. But wait, that's not all; there is also a great list of in depth questions for discussion.
Yes, this is still a work of fiction, because some of these details can neither be proven nor disproved but they are the basis of the "novel" experience where our beloved characters are developed and rounded out so that they become more real to us and live on in our imaginations.
There is an unusual tension in a book of this kind; will it say something that challenges or risks my faith. Rest assured; this book is a pleasant joyous read that give you a broad overview of our beloved characters, all at once, the just way novels do. As for whether or not Jesus had younger brothers: that may have been a bit of a liberty, but I can see how it balanced out the story and still it servers as a gentle reminder that this is a work of fiction, truthful enough by those standards, but not a sacred text. The details that were added are not jarring.
A good friend of mine loaned me his copy and I plan to rush out and buy my own as well as get copies for my friends and family as there are so many delightful conversations can come from the text as well as the author interview and the discussion questions. This book is truly a gift that keeps on giving.