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The Making of a Mystic: New and Selected Letters of Evelyn Underhill
by Evelyn Underhill
edited by Carol Poston
University of Illinois Press, 2010
Cloth: 978-0-252-03483-1
Library of Congress Classification BV5095.U5A4 2010

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941) achieved international fame with the publication of her book Mysticism in 1911. Continuously in print since its original publication, Mysticism remains Underhill's most famous work, but in the course of her long career she published nearly forty books, including three novels and three volumes of poetry, as well as numerous poems in periodicals. She was the religion editor for Spectator, a friend of T. S. Eliot (her influence is visible in his last masterpiece, Four Quartets), and the first woman invited to lecture on theology at Oxford University. Her interest in religion extended beyond her Anglican upbringing to embrace the world's religions and their common spirituality.

In time for the centennial celebration of her classic Mysticism, this volume of Underhill's letters will enable readers and researchers to follow her as she reconciled her beliefs with her daily life. The letters reveal her personal and theological development and clarify the relationships that influenced her life and work. Hardly aloof, she enjoyed the interests, mirth, and compassion of close friendships.


Drawing from collections previously unknown to scholars, The Making of a Mystic shows the range of Evelyn Underhill's mind and interests as well as the immense network of her correspondents, including Sir James Frazier and Nobel Prize laureate Rabindranath Tagore. This substantial selection of Underhill's correspondence demonstrates an exceptional scope, beginning with her earliest letters from boarding school to her mother and extending to a letter written to T. S. Eliot from what was to be her deathbed in London in 1941 as the London Blitz raged around her.


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