Read Grandmother and the Priests Online

Authors: Taylor Caldwell

Tags: #Sassenagh, #Bishop, #late nineteenth century, #early 20th century, #Catholic, #Roman, #Monsignori, #Sassenach, #priest, #Welsh, #Irish, #Scots, #miracles, #mass

Grandmother and the Priests

BOOK: Grandmother and the Priests
8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Table of Contents
Grandmother and the Priests



Taylor Caldwell

Publishing Information

Grandmother and the Priests




Taylor Caldwell


Copyright © 1963 by Reback and Reback


Copyright renewed;


mobi digital edition Copyright 2012 by eNet Press Inc.


All rights reserved.


Published by eNet Press Inc.


16580 Maple Circle, Lake Oswego OR 97034


Digitized in the United States of America in 2012


Revised 201208


Cover designed by Eric Savage;


ISBN 978-1-61886-431-4

Author Page

Taylor Caldwell, christened Janet Miriam Holland Taylor Caldwell, was born in Manchester, England on September 7, 1900, into a family of Scottish background. Her family descended from the Scottish clan of MacGregor of which the Taylors are a subsidiary clan. In 1907 she emigrated to the United States with her parents and younger brother. Her father died shortly after the move, and the family struggled. At the age of eight she started to write stories, and in fact wrote her first novel,
The Romance of Atlantis
, at the age of twelve! (although it remained unpublished until 1975). She continued to write prolifically, however, despite ill health.


Taylor Caldwell was also known by the pen names of Marcus Holland and Max Reiner as well as her married name of J. Miriam Reback. Her works include
Dear and Glorious Physician
, a novel detailing the exploits of Saint Luke,
The Listener
, written about a mysterious altruistic individual who lends an ear where it is needed, and
Dynasty of Death
, a saga about a family of munitions makers.


In 1918-1919, she served in the United States Navy Reserve. In 1919 she married William F. Combs. In 1920, they had a daughter, Mary (known as ‘Peggy’). From 1923 to 1924 she was a court reporter in New York State Department of Labor in Buffalo, New York. In 1924, she went to work for the United States Department of Justice, as a member of the Board of Special Inquiry (an immigration tribunal) in Buffalo. In 1931 she graduated from the University of Buffalo, and also was divorced from William Combs.


Caldwell then married her second husband, Marcus Reback, a fellow Justice employee. She had a second child with Reback, a daughter Judith, in 1932. They were married for 40 years, until his death in 1971.


In 1934, she began to work on the novel
Dynasty of Death
, which she and Reback completed in collaboration. It was published in 1938 and became a best-seller. ‘Taylor Caldwell’ was presumed to be a man, and there was some public stir when the author was revealed to be a woman. Over the next 43 years, she published 42 more novels, many of them best-sellers. For instance,
This Side of Innocence
was the biggest fiction seller of 1946. Her works sold an estimated 30 million copies. She became wealthy, traveling to Europe and elsewhere, though she still lived near Buffalo.


Her books were big sellers right up to the end of her career. In 1979, she signed a two-novel deal for $3.9 million. During her career as a writer, she received several awards:
The National League of American Pen Women
gold medal (1948);
The Buffalo Evening News
Award (1949);
The Grand Prix Chatvain


She was an outspoken conservative and for a time wrote for the John Birch Society’s monthly journal
American Opinion
. Her memoir,
On Growing Up Tough
, appeared in 1971, consisting of many edited-down articles from
American Opinion


Around 1970, she became interested in reincarnation. She had become friends with well-known occultist author Jess Stearn, who suggested that the vivid detail in her many historical novels was actually subconscious recollection of previous lives. Supposedly, she agreed to be hypnotized and undergo ‘past-life regression’ to disprove reincarnation. According to Stearn’s book,
The Search of a Soul - Taylor Caldwell’s Psychic Lives
(1973), Caldwell instead began to recall her own past lives - eleven in all, including one on the ‘lost continent’ of Lemuria.


In 1972, she married William Everett Stancell, a retired real estate developer, but divorced him in 1973. In 1978, she married William Robert Prestie, an eccentric Canadian 17 years her junior. This led to difficulties with her children. She had a long dispute with her daughter Judith over the estate of Judith’s father Marcus; in 1979, Judith committed suicide. Also in 1979, Caldwell suffered a stroke, which left her unable to speak, though she could still write. (She had been deaf since about 1965.) Her daughter Peggy accused Prestie of abusing and exploiting Caldwell, and there was a legal battle over her substantial assets.


She died of heart failure in Greenwich, Connecticut on August 30, 1985.

Books by Taylor Caldwell

Dynasty of Death


The Eagles Gather


The Earth is the Lord’s
: A Tale of the Rise of Genghis Khan


Time No Longer


The Strong City


The Arm and the Darkness


The Turnbulls


The Final Hour


The Wide House


This Side of Innocence


There Was a Time




Let Love Come Last


The Balance Wheel


The Devil’s Advocate


Maggie - Her Marriage


Never Victorious, Never Defeated


Your Sins and Mine


Tender Victory


The Sound of Thunder


Dear and Glorious Physician


The Listener


A Prologue to Love


Grandmother and the Priests


The Late Clara Beame


A Pillar of Iron


Wicked Angel


No One Hears But Him


Dialogues With the Devil


Testimony of Two Men


Great Lion of God


On Growing Up Tough


Captains and the Kings


To Look and Pass


Glory and the Lightning


Romance of Atlantis
(with Jess Stearn)


Ceremony of the Innocent


I, Judas
(with Jess Stearn)


Bright Flows the River


Answer as a Man


This book is dedicated to the heroic memory of God’s Servants, encountered in Grandmother’s drawing-room so long ago, in the early years of this century, and to the equally heroic memory of all other of God’s Servants, whose devotion we do not deserve, whose prayers we do not merit, of whose love we are not worthy, and whose endless labors are known only to God.


For those who are not fully familiar with the terms used in this book, all Bishops of all Faiths arc called ‘my lord’ in the British Isles, and are referred to as ‘his lordship’. ‘The edge of purple’ was commonly used half a century or more ago in referring to the Monsignori, no matter their Orders or whether or not ‘the edge of purple’ was actually used on their clothing.


I have used Scottish, Welsh and Irish dialect only enough to give an authentic flavor to these various sagas, so they will readily be understood by anyone who is not of these racial backgrounds.


To the Welsh and the Scots, an Englishman was a ‘Sassenach’, and to the Irish he was a ‘Sassenagh’, both terms deplorably not complimentary.


Some say that the late years of the nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth were ‘hard years’. But all years are ‘hard’, in different measure. I am sure our modern missionaries and clergymen find these days very hard indeed, too, and their heroism as little appreciated as they labor in their particular and stony vineyards. No, indeed, we are not worthy of our clergy, anywhere in the world.


This is a story of heroes, then, whose lives were indeed hard and perilous, and who often, like their Lord, had no place to lay their heads, and only random shelter. They lived in an atmosphere of faith and fantasy and wonder and joy in life, and told marvelous stories about themselves and others. Moreover, though often oppressed, they were truly free men, often lacking in deadly ‘caution’, and never afraid. They, more than anyone else, understood Emerson when he wrote, “For what avail, the plow and sail, the land or life, if freedom fail?”


Taylor Caldwell

BOOK: Grandmother and the Priests
8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Imperfect Partners by Ann Jacobs
Double Play by Duvall, Nikki
Texas Hunt by Barb Han
I and My True Love by Helen Macinnes
The Silk Merchant's Daughter by Dinah Jefferies
Jean and Johnny by Beverly Cleary
Badwater by Clinton McKinzie
02-Let It Ride by L.C. Chase