Bernadette of Lourdes: Her Life, Death and Visions
Bernadette of Lourdes: her life, death and visions is the first ever scholarly biography of Bernadette Soubirous, either in French or in English. It draws upon many testimonies and archival sources that have never previously been published. Thrse Taylor explains who Bernadette was, and how she lived and died but takes no position on whether or not the visions were genuine. This story begins in Bernadette's native country of the Pyrenees, a mountain region haunted by tales of fairies, witches and miraculous groves and springs. It follows Bernadette's astonishing life story, from her family circle, to her years of fame, to her retirement at the convent of St Gildard at Nevers. Her difficult relationships with the historians of Lourdes and her lengthy terminal illness are also considered. This biography places Bernadette in the context of her time. She was born into a volatile family and her parent's lives were blighted by economic failure and alcoholism. At the age of fourteen Bernadette was an illiterate child-servant, who suddenly experienced a series of visions of a White Lady in the Grotto of Massabielle. Townspeople, government officials, clergy and journalists were all drawn in, and sought out Bernadette in order to assess her story. A chain of events was set off which made her one of the most famous women in France. Bernadette has to be understood not only in religious terms, but also with reference to themes such as tourism, commercialism, mass-representation and the exploitation of female celebrities.
Lourdes Before the Apparitions
List of Plates
The Childhood of Bernadette
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Adelaide Monlaur apparitions appeared asked Bartrès Basile Castérot Bernadette quoted Bernadette Soubirous Bernadette's Bernarde Castérot Bishop of Nevers Bishop of Tarbes Blessed Virgin Catholic chapel child Church claimed companions Contemporains convent Curé Peyramale Dame Despite Émile Zola Estrade Forcade France François Soubirous French girl Grotto Guynot Hautes-Pyrénées Henri Lasserre Histoire holy Hospice Ibid illness infirmary Jean-Baptiste Estrade Jean-Marie Jeanne Védère La Salette Lady later Laurentin letter lived Louise Castérot Marie Lagües Marie-Bernard Massabielle Mère Marie-Thérèse miracles Mlle Estrade Novice Mistress novitiate Paris peasant Père Cros Père Sempé Police Commissioner poor Préfet priest Procès Procureur Général Procureur Impérial Pyrenean Pyrenees RdAM religious replied rosary Sainte Bernadette Salette seems Sessio shrine Sisters of Nevers Soubirous family Sr Marie-Bernard St Gildard story superiors Témoins Toinette Soubirous told took town Trochu Virgin Mary visionary visit the Grotto visitors vows wanted women write wrote