A Pelican in the Wilderness: Hermits, Solitaries and Recluses

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HarperCollins, Feb 17, 2003 - Hermits - 320 pages
4 Reviews
Celebrated novelist Isabel Colegate explores the lives and works of those who have followed the call of solitude, from Lao Tzu and the Desert Fathers to Wordsworth and Thoreau. A Pelican in the Wilderness casts through time and place to uncover tales of human solitude. The quest for solitude - whether for social, religious, personal or intellectual reasons - dates back to ancient times. As a spiritual phenomenon it has its roots in Chinese, Hindu and Western philosophies; from the mystical Desert Fathers - the most famous of which was St Jerome - who cast themselves out into deserts and wastelands in search of spiritual revelation, to the Celts on Iona and Lindisfarne (who arrived with only onions to live on). Rousseau found solitaries inspirational, (but declared that he would die of boredom if he had to become a hermit himself, a view possibly shared by St Jerome who only managed to stay in the desert for two years).

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User Review  - RealLifeReading - LibraryThing

I picked up this book after searching my library’s catalogue for Isabel Colegate’s works, and was curious about this non-fiction work of hers (ok I was curious about all her works as I have yet to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ireneadler - LibraryThing

An entertaining read about people who choose (whether out of religious conviction, artistic compulsion or personal preference) to live alone. Very well written, and a great book for anyone interested in or living the solitary life. Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Isabel Colegate is the author of many bestselling books including THE ORLANDO TRILOGY, AGATHA, A GLIMPSE OF SION'S GLORY, WINTER JOURNEY and THE SHOOTING PARTY. She reviews both fiction and non-fiction for the Daily Telegraph, TLS, the Spectator, Washington Post, New York Times as well as writing travel articles for the Independent, Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. She has appeared on a number of radio and television programmes. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1981and given an honorary degree by the University of Bath in 1988.

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