Two women, both destined to be revered as saints; but how very different in character, opinions and life-stylethey were is lucidly conveyed in this exceptional double biography, long accepted as a classic of its kind. The eagle is Saint Teresa of Avila, the national saint of Spain, a woman of beauty, breeding and culture to whom the very idea of becoming a nun was at first repugnant. Yet become a nun she did – not only a nun, but one of the most energetic and resourceful reformers of the demoralized SpanishChurch in the fanatical age of the Inquisition.
The dove is Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the most gently remarkable of saints, a young French bourgeois who spent her life in total obscurity as a nun and died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-four. After her death, the publication of L’Histoire d’une âme turned the Little Flower of Lisieux into a world-wide cult.
‘A brilliant and sensitive piece of writing’ V. S. Pritchett