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Elizabeth Prentiss: "More Love to Thee" (James)

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This is the first full-scale biography of Elizabeth Prentiss, since the Memoir written by her husband in 1882. Sharon James tells the story of a fascinating, gifted, and godly woman, who exercised a wide influence in America and beyond through her novels and other writings. Through various tragedies in her own life, Elizabeth came to the conviction that suffering is ‘Christ’s school’ whereby we learn more of the love of God. Her various writings vividly communicate the joy of surrendering every detail of life to God, and the liberation of fully embracing his sovereignty.

Sharon James effectively takes readers into Elizabeth’s world, offering insights into some of the realities of life for women in the nineteenth century. She also helpfully places Elizabeth in the context of her time. This was the century during which the ideal of ‘true womanhood’ was promoted- it was also the era when theology suffered a down-grade due to the so-called ‘sentimentalisation’ of culture.

This biography is not merely of historical interest. The longing of Elizabeth’s life was summed up in her best-known hymn: ‘More love, O Christ, to Thee’. Her story demonstrates that every Christian can grow in love to God- both through obedience in the duties of everyday life, and through the tragedies which most of us will, at some point, confront.

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Table of Contents:

  1. Growing up in Maine, 1818-27
  2. ‘Daily Nearer God’, 1828-40
  3. Teaching in Richmond, 1840-3
  4. Courtship and Marriage, 1843-5
  5. ‘God Never Makes a Mistake’, 1846-52
  6. ‘More Love to Thee’, 1852-8
  7. Europe, 1858-60
  8. The War Years, 1861-5
  9. ‘Christ Is in My Soul, He Is Mine’, 1866-8
  10. ‘Stepping Heavenward’, 1869
  11. ‘I Have Lived, I Have Loved’, 1870-3
  12. ‘Yearning for Home’, 1874-8



"I am grateful to Sharon James for sharing the story of this choice soul with us…a gripping, marvellous, and moving biography." — BARBARA HUGHES