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Alone of All Her Sex: Cult of the Virgin Mary (Picador Books) [Paperback]

Marina Warner
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 July 1985 Picador Books
First published in 1976, the author demonstrates a long-lived and continuing process which has been, and still is, used to the detriment of women as she shares her perspective insights into the many-layered construction the fully developed cult of the Virgin was to become.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New edition edition (5 July 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330287710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330287715
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 278,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Dramatic, informative and entertaining...a substantial and provocative book." - "TLS" "A work of remarkably elegant and eloquent scholarship." - "Observer" "Astonishing and enlightening.... packed with scholarship, imagery, vivid selection, and wry contrastive comment." - Margaret Mead --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative but deficient in scholarship 12 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Marina Warner's study of the Catholic doctrines and myths about the Virgin Mary is a fascinating account and goes in chronological order through the stages of the creation of the myth, from the Biblical Gospels, which give no warrant whatsoever for declaring Mary to be sinless, to the apocryphal documents of the 2nd century AD where the stories about her originated, with her life being modelled rather artificially on the life of Jesus. Warner is at her best in feminist analysis of the later accretions surrounding the doctrine of the Virgin Birth and the concomitant bizarre but highly influential and also irrational attitudes towards sexuality characteristic of much of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Then there is also some very good analysis of medieval and Counter-Reformation literature and sermons idolosing Mary, and also the later cults of the Mater Dolorosa and the Immaculate Conception.
The book also has serious scholarly shortcomings however. The author automatically equates Christianity with medieval Catholic Christendom, an elementary logical mistake. She is superficial and too hasty in her analysis of the theological debates concerning the nature of the person of Christ in the 4th and 5th centuries and how they relate to Mariology.
She does not sufficiently look into why Marian doctrines have always been stronger and more superstitious in southern Europe rather than northern Europe, and were perhaps instrumental in the rejection of protestantism in the former.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Second Hand Book 31 May 2012
By Delia
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My copy was used but in good condition.

The book itself is very influential in literary and cultural spheres. Warner's writing is nice to read, uncomplicated and straightforward. The topics she addresses are varied and the book provides plated images to address the imagery of the Virgin Mary in art.
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Catholics and Protestants alike 30 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read Warners book as part of my research into the connection between the Virgin Mary and the rise of the new age goddess and found it an invaluable work. Warner looks at the development of the cultus of Mary in every age and asks the basic question "how has Mary reach the dizzy heights that she has"? Her work is scholary and precise. A must for all those who want to know more about the woman of Nazareth.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 13 Jan 2013
By moomin
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was not in good condition - there was a swuashed spider between one of the papges. The illustrations were of poor quality.
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