Truth and Myth
The best book ever written about Mary Magdalen, published now to take advantage of the fascination with her engendered by THE DA VINCI CODE.
A dramatic, thought-provoking portrait of one of the most compelling figures in early Christianity which explores two thousand years of history, art, and literature to provide a close-up look at Mary Magdalen and her significance in religious and cultural thought.
'A sober and thoroughly researched cultural history packed with delights. It takes us on a journey through the four Gospels, the way that the early Fathers of the Church developed views of Jesus's teaching, the history of iconography, the narratives of medieval and Renaissance poems and plays, the recently discovered and newly translated Gnostic gospels of Nag Hammadi, Victorian photographic pornography and much more.' Michele Roberts, Independent on Sunday
'The strengths of MARY MAGDALEN are real and obvious. It has a bold sweep. It takes an icon of faith and sexuality and trails it through ideas and hypocrisies, through travesties and beautiful representations on canvas and in bronze.' Eavan Boland, Observer
'Haskins displays outstanding scholarship and she fully sustains her case that the fiery woman-hatred of the Church Fathers is evidence of pathology and sickness of mind. She is very good at revealing the countervailing currents in the fortuna of Mary Magdalen.' Frank McLynn, Glasgow Herald
“'A sparky and erudite book, packed with information and written with passion.'”
Julia O'Faolain, Times Literary Supplement
“'A book full of delights, anecdotes, observations; it exhibits a wealth of scholarship, and a passion and charm which are hard to resist.'”
Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times
“'Haskins' analysis of the Magdalen myth is a rich and scholarly detective story, an unveiling which is at the same time a revelation. This is an intelligent book, which blends a sensitive and critical knowledge of art with theology and history. It is written with style and a delightful mocking wit, and is mercifully free of tediously inconclusive arguments about sex and gender.'”
Angela Tilby, Church Times