Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen Cover

Hildegard of Bingen

The Woman of Her Age

By Fiona Maddock

Image, Paperback, 9780385498685, 354pp.

Publication Date: May 20, 2003


The twelfth-century German abbess Hildegard of Bingen would have been remarkable in any age. Today, her growing reputation as a composer of religious music has overshadowed the astonishing variety of her accomplishments and her part in the scientific, cultural, and theological revolution of the pre-Renaissance, from religion and mysticism to medicine and sex. Scivias, her book of apocalyptic visions, with its extraordinary and compelling illustrations, would alone have been enough to endure her lasting fame.

The story of Hildegard's life, from her entry into a monastery at Disibodenberg on the Rhine as a child, through the exploration of her pent-up genius in middle years, to her eventual admission to the German canon of saints, is here told against a rich background of the years of the Crusades, the flowering of monasticism, papal schism and heresy. The forceful character that emerges challenges any image of demurely subjugated womanhood associated with the period. Hildegard's story is as fascinating as that of any figure in the Middle Ages, and she and her musical legacy continue to be the subject of debate a thousand years later.

About the Author
Fiona Maddocks, an award-winning writer on music, is classical music critic of "The Observer," UK. She writes for a number of publications and broadcasts regularly. Her book on Harrison Birtwistle, "Wild Tracks - A Conversation Diary" was published by Faber and Faber Ltd. in 2014 "From the Hardcover edition."

Praise For Hildegard of Bingen

“Maddocks adeptly shows why Hildegard continues to fascinate seekers.” —Publishers Weekly