A Pelican in the Wilderness: Hermits, Solitaries, and

A Pelican in the Wilderness: Hermits, Solitaries, and


10 thoughts on “A Pelican in the Wilderness: Hermits, Solitaries, and Recluses

  1. Dan Dan says:

    Disappointing The enthusiastic review published in a magazine I d read led me to expect something other than the superficial sketches of solitaries that make up the bulk of this work I also would not have expected, either from the review or the book title, the repeated examples of English landscape architecture during the 18th and early 19th century, with descriptions of the fashion to construct hermitages that, in many instances, may not have been used as such Lessons reinforced tastes ar Disappointing The enthusiastic review published in a magazine I d read led me to expect something other than the superficial sketches of solitaries that make up the bulk of this work I also would not have expected, either from the review or the book title, the repeated examples of English landscape architecture during the 18th and early 19th century, with descriptions of the fashion to construct hermitages that, in many instances, may not have been used as such Lessons reinforced tastes are not universal expectations may result in disappointment


  2. Rachel Bayles Rachel Bayles says:

    This is a tough one to get through Clearly the author did copious research, but the first three quarters of the book have an underlying detached irony that s off putting She doesn t have enough skill to hang together all of the stories, so the whole thing just meanders The meandering might be fine, if she had a love for her subject matter Stringing together vignettes requires stories that illustrate why the reader should care about these people The author doesn t seem to care herself.And th This is a tough one to get through Clearly the author did copious research, but the first three quarters of the book have an underlying detached irony that s off putting She doesn t have enough skill to hang together all of the stories, so the whole thing just meanders The meandering might be fine, if she had a love for her subject matter Stringing together vignettes requires stories that illustrate why the reader should care about these people The author doesn t seem to care herself.And then in the last fifty pages, she acquires the necessary warmth It s almost as if she wrote the last quarter of the book at a different stage in her life Or maybe what started out as an intellectual study finally transformed into something better.The refuge of the intellectual s precious overspecialization, is that he or she has a passion that can be imparted at least somewhat to the reader You should only read this book if you find reclusiveness or hermetic devotion intriguing Or even a bit fascinating Because there is plenty of so what to wade through


  3. Sharlene Sharlene says:

    I picked up this book after searching my library s catalogue for Isabel Colegate s works, and was curious about this non fiction work of hers ok I was curious about all her works as I have yet to read her fiction This is a book about the solitary, about hermits and recluses, and I wasn t entirely sure why I felt compelled to search it out, but I did, and I took it home and it sat on my shelf for a little while, as I sought out what I felt to be theinteresting books in my recent Library I picked up this book after searching my library s catalogue for Isabel Colegate s works, and was curious about this non fiction work of hers ok I was curious about all her works as I have yet to read her fiction This is a book about the solitary, about hermits and recluses, and I wasn t entirely sure why I felt compelled to search it out, but I did, and I took it home and it sat on my shelf for a little while, as I sought out what I felt to be theinteresting books in my recent Library Loot Then I finally picked up A Pelican in the Wilderness, and I was pleasantly surprised This book is less a scholarly treatise than a collection of thoughts, a wandering, a pondering of a subject that is so obviously dear to Colegate Her passion for this topic is very affecting So while at first hesitant, I grew to understand her ardor What makes a person leave society behind and live on their own Why do some of these hermits naturally attract a following What is living all alone like Colegate delves into the lives of the well known and the obscure, often quoting from literary sources such as Somerset Maugham, Geoffrey Chaucer and Alexander Pope She discusses the lives of Thoreau, J.D Salinger, Lao Tse, St Anthony, and many .But if you are truly looking for answers about becoming a hermit, this isn t exactly the book for you Instead, this book is a littlelike an exploration, a revaluation of the solitary, a kind of selection of character sketches although character sketch doesn t seem to be the right word it sounds too vague Colegate s journey is a meandering one, and at times disjointed which can occasionally frustrate, but A Pelican in the Wilderness is a wonderful voyage through a surprisingly refreshing topic, with Colegate s passionate voice as a rather suitable tour guideThe idea of the hermit s life simplicity, devotion, closeness to nature lurks somewhere on the periphery of most people s consciousness, a way glimpsed, oddly familiar, not taken It is like one of those tracks you sometimes see as you drive along a country road, a path leading up a hill and disappearing into a wood, almost painfully inviting, so that you long to stop the car and follow it, and perhaps you take your foot off the accelerator for a couple of seconds, noMost of us wouldn t like it if we did walk up the hill, we d become bored, depressed, uncomfortable, take to drink But the idea is still there the path we didn t take


  4. Dennison Berwick Dennison Berwick says:

    Isobel Colegate brings a novelists insight to the lives of hermits through the ages men and women, Buddhist, Christian and others who have found the journey either liberating or hell She tells their stories with a genuine interest and warmth that is neither overly enthusiastic knowing how many have been brutalized by the experience nor uncomprehendingly critical.Forreviews, essays and stories, please visit my website Serendipities of a Writer s life www.dennisonberwick.info Isobel Colegate brings a novelists insight to the lives of hermits through the ages men and women, Buddhist, Christian and others who have found the journey either liberating or hell She tells their stories with a genuine interest and warmth that is neither overly enthusiastic knowing how many have been brutalized by the experience nor uncomprehendingly critical.Forreviews, essays and stories, please visit my website Serendipities of a Writer s life www.dennisonberwick.info


  5. Side Real Press Side Real Press says:

    I am the zeitgeist In these odd times I found I had bought this book a few days before Covid 19 really hit the headlines and self isolation was presented as a desirable, or even compulsory On the face of it this book would seem exactly my cup of tea, as its subtitle hermits solitaries and recluses would seem to me to indicate eccentric rather than a temporary state of affairs.Of course it depends on what your idea of eccentric is but sadly there is seemingly little of that breed here unl I am the zeitgeist In these odd times I found I had bought this book a few days before Covid 19 really hit the headlines and self isolation was presented as a desirable, or even compulsory On the face of it this book would seem exactly my cup of tea, as its subtitle hermits solitaries and recluses would seem to me to indicate eccentric rather than a temporary state of affairs.Of course it depends on what your idea of eccentric is but sadly there is seemingly little of that breed here unless you count the spiritual quest eccentric Because it would appear that is the books real subject, the numerous probably not muchthan a page long biographies, are almost exclusively related to those seeking contemplation knowledge of God and, almost exclusively a Christian God, with a few other religions added in, mainly at the beginning of the book, in order he says cynically to broaden its potential appeal.Even a number of these solitaries are perhaps not so solitary as I might wish Some certainly live alone, but often one reads of them living in a monastery or even as a community of solitaries surely an oxymoron receiving visitors and or out and about doing good or just dispensing the old wisdom There are even cases of people living with only one other person often described as a servant, disciple or helper Aside from the implicit dehumanization of said servant, disciple or helper, it all sounds a bit of a cheat.Colegate is certainly enthusiastic it is apparent that she is also on some sort of quest of her own she describes her hikes to abandoned retreats or visits to hermits and has an obvious empathy with those she meets but its scatter gun approach means there is not enough flow to hold the book together.She also does not really attempt to get into the psychology of anchorites or of those self denying martyrs saints beyond the most basic broad brushstrokes, another limit of choosing saints and mystics which is a pity For that you need to go to something like Rudolph Bells Holy Anorexia which attempts to place denial into a social context.Colegate has built a grotto in her own garden as you do and does reference the fashion for such folly building as part of the landscape garden of the early 1800 s but once again could have expanded upon this as she could also have expanded on the solitary outsider artist producing work is secret.All in all this is a useful but by no means all emcompassing book, perhaps partly because the book is now quite old 2003 and thus just about pre internet Its all a lot easier to dig up these mini bios wonder if Colegate has a mobile


  6. Conan the Librarian Conan the Librarian says:

    If this was an audiobook I would have felt as if I were cornered with Isabel at a cocktail party as she hops around excitedly in subject matter that she is quite interested trivially knowledgeable about while I can only gleam certain tidbits of anecdotes because she does not delve deeper into anything she broaches because this niche subject matter is really only an odd fancy of hers This however was not an audiobook and though at first I enjoyed the free flowing entries streaming in about a If this was an audiobook I would have felt as if I were cornered with Isabel at a cocktail party as she hops around excitedly in subject matter that she is quite interested trivially knowledgeable about while I can only gleam certain tidbits of anecdotes because she does not delve deeper into anything she broaches because this niche subject matter is really only an odd fancy of hers This however was not an audiobook and though at first I enjoyed the free flowing entries streaming in about a hermit here and a recluse there, it glazed my eyes over eventually I m glad my drink needs a refill


  7. Karen Karen says:

    This book isa scholarly list of known historic hermits The focus is on Europe and Christianity, with a few Eastern religions and non Europeans thrown in As this was published in 2002, the book is clearly lacking the state of current solitude and the methods of finding such in the modern world So much time and people were thrown together that no depth was reached.


  8. Dan Dan says:

    Not all that I d hoped


  9. Susanne Winkle Susanne Winkle says:

    Beautiful, funny and wise Also extremely interesting I now want to be a hermit myself if only for to have Isabel Colegate come visit me in my lonely cabin or cave.


  10. Allison Allison says:

    This is a somewhat odd but very interesting book The author presents themed chapters on hermits, solitaries, and recluses all religious and on religious kinds, from all over the world It s really like character sketches of these different figures She also intersperses her own travels and experiences, and her attempt to restore an 18th century hermitage on her property in England It s not in chronological order, butof a wander through the topic I found it very enjoyable There are also This is a somewhat odd but very interesting book The author presents themed chapters on hermits, solitaries, and recluses all religious and on religious kinds, from all over the world It s really like character sketches of these different figures She also intersperses her own travels and experiences, and her attempt to restore an 18th century hermitage on her property in England It s not in chronological order, butof a wander through the topic I found it very enjoyable There are also interesting sketches throughout the book


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A Pelican in the Wilderness: Hermits, Solitaries, and Recluses [Download] ➾ A Pelican in the Wilderness: Hermits, Solitaries, and Recluses Author Isabel Colegate – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk Few books contain a cast of characters as fascinating as those who populate A Pelican in the Wilderness, Isabel Colegate s charming meander through the history of hermits and solitaries Elegantly writ Few books contain a cast in the PDF/EPUB è of characters as fascinating as those who populate A Pelican in the Wilderness, Isabel Colegate s charming A Pelican Kindle - meander through the history of hermits and solitaries Elegantly writtena small gem of a book Wall Street Journal From Lao tse and the Pelican in the Kindle ´ Buddha, St Anthony and the early Celtic hermits, through Rousseau, Thoreau, Ruskin and down to the present day, certain gifted persons, each in his own way, have shown a vocation for living alone and apart, finding in simplicity and attention to Nature a spiritual space to be explored and rejoiced in Others, retreating from the world in scorn or cut off from it by scandal, have found that solitude is Hell, a pit of melancholy and morbid fancy In this, her first work of nonfiction, novelist Isabel Colegate gives us the lives of the solitaries male and female, medieval and modern, divinely inspired and patently fraudulent But this is no mere gallery of saints and sinners, poets and misanthropes It is also a re valuation of solitude for our times, and a reminder that it is in solitude that the soul meets itself, refreshes itself, and from there goes out to join the communal dance.

    A Pelican in the Wilderness: Hermits, Solitaries, and his own way, have shown a vocation for living alone and apart, finding in simplicity and attention to Nature a spiritual space to be explored and rejoiced in Others, retreating from the world in scorn or cut off from it by scandal, have found that solitude is Hell, a pit of melancholy and morbid fancy In this, her first work of nonfiction, novelist Isabel Colegate gives us the lives of the solitaries male and female, medieval and modern, divinely inspired and patently fraudulent But this is no mere gallery of saints and sinners, poets and misanthropes It is also a re valuation of solitude for our times, and a reminder that it is in solitude that the soul meets itself, refreshes itself, and from there goes out to join the communal dance."/>
  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • A Pelican in the Wilderness: Hermits, Solitaries, and Recluses
  • Isabel Colegate
  • English
  • 19 August 2018
  • 1582432384

About the Author: Isabel Colegate

Isabel Colegate was born in in the PDF/EPUB è in London and was educated at Runton Hill School in Norfolk In she went into A Pelican Kindle - partnership with Anthony Blond, who was then starting a literary agency and would go on to found a publishing house, and in Pelican in the Kindle ´ she married Michael Briggs, with whom she has a daughter and two sonsColegate s first novel, The Blackmailer, was published by Blond in and was followed by twonovels focusing on English life in the years after the Second World War A Man of Power and The Great Occasion These were later republished by Penguin in an omnibus volume, Three Novels, in Though she has written a number of other successful novels, as well as reviews for the Spectator, Daily Telegraph and TLS, Colegate is best known for her bestseller and major critical success The Shooting Party , which won the WH Smith Literary Award and was adapted for a now classic film version The book is still in print today with Counterpoint in the US and as a Penguin Modern Classic in the UK More recently, she has written the acclaimed novel Winter Journey and the non fiction work Pelican in the Wilderness Hermits and Solitaries Isabel Colegate was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in She and her husband live in SomersetValancourt Books.