Sister Wendy's Book of Muses

Front Cover
Harry N. Abrams, Nov 1, 2000 - Art - 48 pages
The New York Times calls Sister Wendy Beckett "a pop star". The Washington Post calls her "a phenomenon". Art in America, in its glowing tribute to the world's best-loved art expert, cheers the "genuine passion Sister Wendy brings to her commentary" and her "rhapsodic descriptions". Here this British nun, whose public television series and books have introduced millions to the pleasures of art, combines her interest in the Muses of classical mythology with her appreciation for fine porcelain -- in a lovely little paean to the patron goddesses of the arts.

The nine Muses and their protector, Apollo, are shown as fine porcelain pieces, and the text notes the qualities that make them the unique guardians of inspiration. Radiating Sister Wendy's infectious enthusiasm on every page and revealing her personal reflections on the complexities of human nature, this unique mythology book -- the only volume in print devoted exclusively to these classical Greek sources of inspiration -- is an inexpensive delight.

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About the author (2000)

Wendy Mary Beckett was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on February 25, 1930. At the age of 16, she joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, a teaching order, as Sister Michael of St. Peter. She became Sister Wendy after Vatican reforms relaxed formalities. She studied literature at Oxford University in the early 1950s. After returning to South Africa, she taught for 15 years at a Cape Town convent and later lectured at Johannesburg's University of Witwatersrand. After suffering three grand mal seizures and learning that she had a form of epilepsy, she received Vatican consent to give up teaching for a life of solitude. In 1970, she returned to England and moved into the trailer at the Carmelite Monastery. She wrote approximately 25 books art and religion including Contemporary Women Artists and Sister Wendy on Prayer. In 1991, a BBC producer persuaded her to do a documentary about Britain's National Gallery, talking about its paintings. She went on to star in several more BBC documentaries including Sister Wendy's Odyssey, Sister Wendy's Grand Tour, and Sister Wendy's Story of Painting. She assigned all her earnings to the Carmelite order that sheltered her. She died on December 26, 2018 at the age of 88.

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