FREE EBOOK - Eleven Thousand Virgins:
Hildegard von Bingen's Last Chants, by Alan C. Baird"Field of Dreams" with medieval
chant music in place of baseball.
Synopsis: Alex Barnett has a comfortable life in
Los Angeles and San Francisco; it's probably too comfortable, although he can't quite admit
to himself that an extended separation from his wife Nicole eats at his soul. An unusual
set of seemingly unrelated circumstances impels him to seek out a centuries-abandoned monastery
in southwest Germany, where he confronts the animate image of Hildegard von Bingen, the
legendary twelfth-century mystic, prophet, and composer of ravishing liturgical chants.
Although his friend Lars believes it's a bona-fide vision, much like the visions that
fueled Hildegard's own creativity, Alex cynically distrusts his deepest instincts and
drives himself to search for a more acceptable answer. His quest guides him on the path
toward self-awareness, through experiences both sacred and profane. One man's inner and
outer pilgrimages take him to the depths of uncertainty, and, almost inexorably, to the
peak of actualization.
Background: Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179 AD) composed many
chants in honor of Saint Ursula (?-383 AD). According to legend, Ursula was a Romano-British
princess who, at the request of her father, King Dionotus/Donaut of Dumnonia (SW England),
set sail across the English Channel with 11,000 virginal handmaidens to join her future
husband, the pagan Governor Conan Meriadoc of Armorica (Brittany). Before the princess
could arrive, all the virgins were beheaded in a massacre, and Ursula was shot dead. Modern
research suggests the phrase "XI. M. V." was misinterpreted as "eleven thousand (in Roman
numerals) virgins" rather than "eleven martyred virgins."
Genre: Spiritual drama.
Warning: sexual situations and language. Semifinalist in: Writers
Network competition. Discography. Map.
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