Illuminations Cover


A Novel of Hildegard Von Bingen

By Mary Sharratt

Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780544106536, 274pp.

Publication Date: October 15, 2013


Sharratt brings one of the most famous and enigmatic women of the Middle Ages to vibrant life in this tour de force, which will captivate the reader from the very first page. Sharon Kay Penman
One could not anticipate this majesty and drama . . . "Illuminations "is riveting, following von Bingen through . . . to emerge as one of the significant voices of the 12th century . . . Unforgettable. "January Magazine"

One of the most extraordinary women of the Middle Ages, Hildegard von Bingen Benedictine abbess, healer, composer, saint experienced mystic visions from a very young age. Offered by her noble family to the Church at the age of eight, she lived for years in forced silence. But through the study of books and herbs, through music and the kinship of her sisters, Hildegard found her way from a life of submission to a calling that celebrated the divine glories all around us. In this brilliantly researched and insightful novel, Mary Sharratt offers a deeply moving portrait of a woman willing to risk everything for what she believed, a triumphant exploration of the life she might well have lived.

Gripping . . . Like Ann Patchett's Bel Canto, "Illuminations"] is primarily about relationships forged under pressure. "Publishers Weekly"
Masterful. "Saint Paul Pioneer Press"

About the Author
MARY SHARRATT is an American writer who has lived in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England, for the past seven years. The author of the critically acclaimed novels Summit Avenue, The Real Minerva, and The Vanishing Point, Sharratt is also the coeditor of the subversive fiction anthology Bitch Lit, a celebration of female antiheroes, strong women who break all the rules.