Synopses & Reviews
In 1824 in Washington, D.C., Ann Mattingly, widowed sister of the city's mayor, was miraculously cured of a ravaging cancer. Just days, or perhaps even hours, from her predicted demise, she arose from her sickbed free from agonizing pain and able to enjoy an additional thirty-one years of life. The Mattingly miracle purportedly came through the intervention of a charismatic German cleric, Prince Alexander Hohenlohe, who was credited already with hundreds of cures across Europe and Great Britain. Though nearly forgotten today, Mattingly's astonishing healing became a polarizing event. It heralded a rising tide of anti-Catholicism in the United States that would culminate in violence over the next two decades.
Nancy L. Schultz deftly weaves analysis of this episode in American social and religious history together with the astonishing personal stories of both Ann Mattingly and the healer Prince Hohenlohe, around whom a cult was arising in Europe. Schultz's riveting book brings to light an early episode in the ongoing battle between faith and reason in the United States.
"Nancy Schultz has written a fascinating narrative highlighting the historical, religious and social dimensions of miraculous cures of Ann Mattingly. This is a first-rate original work of sound scholarship.”Christopher Kauffman, Catholic University of America -- Jamaica Ai-Etsuko Brown - International Journal of Communication
"Schultzs work to track down information about the key figures, previous events and subsequent experience is remarkable. She tells the full story, with thick description of the Capital Miracles.”David OBrien, Holy Cross -- Christopher Kauffman
“Mrs. Mattinglys Miracle uses terrific archival work and shrewd analysis to firmly anchor a remarkable episode in American religious history in a transatlantic context.” John T. McGreevy, University of Notre Dame
-- David O'Brien
“Nancy Schultz has produced another extraordinary work of historical recovery, bringing vividly to life a cast of characters that could easily populate a major motion picture even as they reveal hitherto neglected aspects of nineteenth-century social, religious, and intellectual history. The provocative questions raised by Mrs. Mattinglys Miracle
will linger, satisfyingly, with readers long after theyve reached its unusual conclusion.”Megan Marshall, author of The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism
, winner of the Francis Parkman Prize
-- John T. McGreevy
“An entertaining and meticulously-researched study of one of the first accounts of miraculous healing in the young United States. Schultz illuminates every possible angle of the Mattingly story, thereby enriching American and Catholic history immeasurably.” Paula Kane, University of Pittsburgh
-- Megan Marshall
"In his usual manner, lively and fresh, he not only brings ordinary people front and center but also offers startling insight into the political and religious dynamic of the time. His approach and writing style, although historically responsible, are enjoyable for non-specialists as well. . . . His work makes clear what professional historians alas sometimes forget an enjoyable story need not be taboo."—Tertio Belgium
In the tradition of The Return of Martin Guerre
and The Great Cat Massacre
, Miracles at the Jesus Oak
is a rich, evocative journey into the past and the extraordinary events that transformed the lives of ordinary people.
In the musty archive of a Belgian abbey, historian Craig Harline happened upon a vast collection of documents written in the seventeenth century by people who claimed to have experienced miracles and wonders. In Miracles at the Jesus Oak, Harline recasts these testimonies into engaging vignettes that open a window onto the believers, unbelievers, and religious movements of Catholic Europe in the Age of Reformation.
Written with grace and charm, Miracles at the Jesus Oak is popular history at its most informative and enlightening.
About the Author
Craig Harline, a professor of history at Brigham Young University, is the author of A Bishop's Tale, The Burdens of Sister Margaret, and Sunday. His research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, and other granting agencies. He lives in Provo, UT.