This extraordinarily sensitive and insightful portrait of religious life centers on Philippa Talbot, a highly successful professional woman who leaves her life among the London elite to join a cloistered Benedictine community. In This House of Brede was the basis of a 1975 made-for-television film starring Diana Rigg.
This new edition of In This House of Brede includes an introduction by Phyllis Tickle, as well as discussion questions designed to help deepen the reading experience for both individuals and reading groups.
About the author: Rumer Godden, a prolific and eclectic novelist whose fiction explores the wonders of childhood, the diversity of India, and the mysteries of the religious life, was born on December 10, 1907, in Eastbourne, England. At six months of age she was taken by her parents to India, where her father ran a steamship company in the Bengal Delta. Apart from some schooling in Britain, she lived the first half of her life on the subcontinent.
Godden’s first novel, Chinese Puzzle, was published in 1936. Her first success came with the novel Black Narcissus (1939), which was a best seller and one of her nine novels to be turned into films (others include The Greengage Summer and In This House of Brede). She returned to Britain after the Second World War and turned out a steady stream of novels to increasing attention and acclaim.
Altogether she published more than twenty novels, including The River (1946), Kingfishers Catch Fire (1953), An Episode of Sparrows (1955), Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy (1979), The Dark Horse (1981), Coromandel Sea Change (1991), and Cromartie v. the God Shiva Acting through the Government of India (1997).
Rumer Godden also published poetry, translations, a biography of Hans Christian Andersen, and two autobiographies: A Time to Dance, No Time to Weep (1987) and A House with Four Rooms (1989). She wrote many books for children, including The Doll’s House (1947), The Mousewife (1951), and Miss Happiness and Miss Flower (1961). In 1972, she won the Whitbread Award for The Diddakoi.
Godden converted to Roman Catholicism in 1968. In preparation for writing In This House of Brede (1969), about life in a Benedictine monastery, she lived for three years at the gate of Stanbrook Abbey, a Benedictine foundation.
She died in Dumfries, Scotland, on November 8, 1998, at the age of ninety.