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By Kate Barlow

When Kate Barlow was once a bit woman, she moved together with her mom and her older sisters to a ramshackle English mansion. They weren't by myself at the once-grand property, surrounded as they have been through twenty eccentric, aged girls, considered one of whom was once her grandmother . . . or was once she? This notable memoir is the real tale of lifestyles inside of "The A," the notorious Agapemone, named for the Greek observe which means dwelling house of affection. It used to be a non secular cult based in mid-19th century England via a defrocked clergyman who claimed to be guided individually via the Holy Ghost. Agapemonites, lots of whom have been prosperous, single girls, lived jointly at the property. They believed the second one Coming was once drawing close and that their founder may dwell perpetually. while Henry James Prince died all at once, his successor declared himself the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, a statement which brought on rioting within the streets. The booklet unearths the author's slow awakening to the spiritual and sexual scandal that enveloped her...

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Extra resources for Abode of Love. Growing Up in a Messianic Cult

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And, unremarked upon by the great chroniclers of the day, a charismatic young Anglican curate, fresh from his examinations and a turbulent college career, set off for Somerset to take up a curacy in the tiny village of Charlinch, next door to Spaxton. Agapemone founder Reverend Henry James Prince had originally set his sights on the medical profession and held down a post in a Bath hospital before illness forced him to give up his career in favour of the Church. His widowed mother had been appalled at his career change, not because she had anything against clergymen – they were very necessary, in their way, and far more socially acceptable than mere physicians – but because she disapproved of what she considered her young son’s unhealthy relationship with her lodger.

By far the best looking of May’s boys,’ Cissy twinkled at her sister. ‘You know, Lettit, I wasn’t the least bit surprised when—’ ‘You know our father? ’ The two little old ladies looked at each other the way grown-ups do when they realise they have let a cat out of the bag. ‘We haven’t seen him for years,’ explained Lettit, ‘but when they were boys, we saw lots of Polo – that’s what he was always called – and his brothers. ’ She pointed at an angle through the small window. ‘He was born in Home Cottage, round the corner and next door to the post office.

And this is where she met your grandfather – your father’s father – John Victor Read, who you went to visit in the summer,’ Lettit went on. ‘We knew May very well. She was a KP, just like us. ’ I had seen those names somewhere, and not just in a photograph album. ’ Cissy picked up the iron with her padded holder. Again her spit skittered across the heated surface. ‘He gave it all up so he and Sarah – your great-grandmother – could come here to live. And he was treated so badly, blackballed by his club, having to resign his—’ Lettit stared at her sister in consternation.

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