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The Eternal Woman Paperback – March 1, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gertrud von le Fort (1876-1971) was a German novelist and essayist. A convert to Catholicism, she attended the universities of Heidelberg, Berlin and Marburg. She was a prolific writer whose poetry and novels, which have been translated into many languages, won her acclaim throughout Europe. She also wrote Song at the Scaffold and The Eternal Woman.

Alice Von Hildebrand, wife of Dietrich von Hildebrand, has spent a lifetime teaching in New York City and lecturing in the States and abroad. Her reflections on love and marriage draw on her own experiences and those of thousands of others who have turned to her for guidance and inspiration.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586172980
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586172985
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I had never heard of Gertrud von le Fort, though the advertised "Forward by Alice von Hildebrand" caught my eye while I was looking the book up on recommendation. It took a number of pages in the first chapter for me to get into it, but by page 15 I knew this was a real treasure trove of philosophical wisdom.

"Woman...according to St. John, is recognizable as an apocolyptic figure. Only a woman who has become unfaithful to her destiny can portray that absolute unfruitfulness of the world which must inevitably cause its death and destruction.

If the sign of the woman is "Be it done unto me, which means the readiness to conceive or, when expressed religiously, the will to be blessed, then there is always misery when the woman no longer wills to conceive, no longer desires to be blessed."

Baronness von le Fort covers succinctly and effectively: virginal womanhood, motherhood, spiritual motherhood and woman as bride and mother with classic literary examples, secular examples and of course relgious examples.

It is a philosophical book so there is a lot to think about, but it's not too "in the clouds" to be unreachable to the average lay person with some interest in this topic.
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What a relief to read something on the subject not steeped in killing political correctness. My mother was not a feminist. She always said she did not feel the least bit oppressed or subjected, even when, as a widow with 6 small children, she was forced to work as a waitress to eke things out. This book is about THAT woman - the woman who knows who she is and knows who God is, who responds trustfully to the challenges of life , and is fulfilled and happy.
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This can be a challenging read as it was written in1954 and the concepts of men and women are out if step with today. However, the point of Mary's role in our faith journey and the true role and importance of women in God's plan is eye opening.
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