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By Kate Barlow

When Kate Barlow used to be a bit woman, she moved together with her mom and her older sisters to a ramshackle English mansion. They weren't by myself at the once-grand property, surrounded as they have been by way of twenty eccentric, aged girls, certainly one of whom used to be her grandmother . . . or was once she? This impressive memoir is the genuine tale of existence within "The A," the notorious Agapemone, named for the Greek observe that means domicile of affection. It used to be a spiritual cult based in mid-19th century England via a defrocked clergyman who claimed to be guided individually via the Holy Ghost. Agapemonites, a lot of whom have been filthy rich, single ladies, lived jointly at the property. They believed the second one Coming was once impending and that their founder could stay without end. while Henry James Prince died without warning, his successor declared himself the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, a press release which brought on rioting within the streets. The booklet unearths the author's sluggish awakening to the non secular and sexual scandal that enveloped her...

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Extra resources for Abode of Love. Growing Up in a Messianic Cult

Sample text

Bless your soul, no,’ Waa smiled and reached across to pat my hand. ’ ‘What a great and wonderful man your grandfather was. ’ It was an unsatisfactory answer, the first of many. School soon beckoned, though, and I was caught up in my busy life there, where I relegated my unspoken questions to the recesses of my young mind. * * * When I returned home for Easter, I found plans had been made for Margaret and me to go and stay with our paternal grandparents in their Cornwall home during our summer holidays.

The thought of someone lying dead in one of the rooms still gave me the creeps. I would grow used to it. ‘But you promised,’ I whined. We used the word rooting to mean nosing around wherever our curiosity took us. It meant we could arrange trips to the empty rooms without the others knowing. Distracted, I looked at the pieces Margaret had laid out on the draughtboard. ’ Margaret always took white, another disadvantage of being the baby of the family. ’ ‘Shh, Kitty. ’ I lost. We had already started a second game when I felt something land on my head.

And, unremarked upon by the great chroniclers of the day, a charismatic young Anglican curate, fresh from his examinations and a turbulent college career, set off for Somerset to take up a curacy in the tiny village of Charlinch, next door to Spaxton. Agapemone founder Reverend Henry James Prince had originally set his sights on the medical profession and held down a post in a Bath hospital before illness forced him to give up his career in favour of the Church. His widowed mother had been appalled at his career change, not because she had anything against clergymen – they were very necessary, in their way, and far more socially acceptable than mere physicians – but because she disapproved of what she considered her young son’s unhealthy relationship with her lodger.

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