In London in the 20th century, Caryll Houselander stood out as a strange Catholic poet who liked powdered white faces and gin and cigarettes. Even though she didn’t look or live like most people, her writing during and after World War II won the hearts of thousands of people. This piece talks about the new biography “Caryll Houselander: A Biography” by Mary Frances Coady, which gives more information about the interesting life of this one-of-a-kind Catholic writer.
A Biography of Caryll Houselander
Mary Frances Coady skillfully brings Caryll Houselander’s life back to life in her 176-page biography, creating a figure who is full of mystery and contradictions. Some people didn’t like Houselander’s book, “A Rocking Horse Catholic,” because it had some mistakes. But Coady carefully checks all the facts and gives readers a true story.
Caryll Houselander: Early Years: A Touchy Heart in Convent Schools
The split of Houselander’s parents when she was 11 years old was a big event in her childhood. Gertrude, her artistic but impulsive mother, raised her. She dealt with her sensitive personality in Catholic schools, where she was often called a “freak” because of the way she looked. Even though there were problems, Houselander did very well in the caring setting of the convent.
Caryll Houselander: A Time of Being Free and a Break from the Church
When Houselander moved to London, she had a bohemian moment and went to art school for a short time. Being told she had to pay money to sit in a chair made her lose faith in the Catholic Church. This was a short break from the Church that showed how strong and outspoken she was.
Caryll Houselander: A Vision in the London Subway About a Religious Awakening
Coady talks about Houselander’s religious life, from her baptism as a child to a time when she was very religious to a time when she wasn’t going to church for a while. A turning point happened when she saw Christ in the middle of other people on the London subway. Because of this experience, she wrote later works that stressed Christ’s presence in all people and in all of human events.
Spiritual Vision: Christ in Everybody
Houselander’s books had a deep message: they showed that everyone has a part of Christ inside them. Before Pope Pius XII’s letter on the “Mystical Body of Christ,” she had a religious vision that struck a chord with people on both sides of the Atlantic during the difficult times of World War II.
Leave behind and impact: a spiritual writer
Even though Houselander lived an unusual life, her spiritual writings became very famous. Mazie Ward, a devotee, was very important in helping and encouraging Houselander throughout her work. Ward wrote the first biography soon after Houselander died. But it attacked for picking and choosing which facts to include. This is fixed by Coady’s biography, which gives a full picture of Houselander’s life and inspirations.
Conclusion: Fans of Houselanders must read this book.
“Caryll Houselander: A Biography” by Mary Frances Coady is an interesting look into the life of this unusual Catholic author. For people who already knew about Houselander and people who want to learn more about her, this book is a fun and interesting look at a remarkable woman who broke the rules and made a lasting impact on faith in the 20th century.