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Octavia, Daughter of God

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  5 reviews
In 1919, in the wake of the upheaval of World War I, a remarkable group of English women came up with their own solution to the world's grief:a new religion. At the heart of the Panacea Society was a charismatic and autocratic leader, a vicar's widow named Mabel Barltrop. Her followers called her Octavia, and believed that she was the daughter of God, sent to build the New ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 25th 2011 by Jonathan Cape
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Robin Stevens
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am so, so happy about this book. Can you believe that there was an English cult that thought the daughter of God lived in Bedford? And they kept a house for Christ to return to? And the daughter of God issued directives about HOW TO BAKE CAKES? It's everything I love most in the world, it's perfect, and it's all TRUE. (13+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from m
Adam Stevenson
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are two main rules to follow when setting up a religion; first, never make a claim for the end of the world and second, never claim immortality for your leader. While the Panacea Society did not make the first mistake, they fell full prey to the second. Not only did they claim immortality of their leader, Octavia but also for each of them. Now the religion is no more but they had a good run of it, over ninety years of faith carried out in the Holy Town of Bedford.

Last year I visited the Ho
I'm slowly developing an interest in early 20th century British history. This book combines all the things I normally love about Chinese religion, millenarianism, women in leading roles, apocalyptic visions, spirit writing, immortality etc but transfers them to a very middle class setting in Bedford with old English ladies creating their own heterodox cult. It is a fascinating piece of history. A group of women who came to contact each other over the writings of Joanna Southcott came to believe ...more
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfic
The Panacean movement was wonderfully bizarre in the way a certain kind of comedy sketch achieves a bemused audience -- by multiple half-steps to the side, each step in itself not terribly radical, until the moment you realize you're all the way across the room facing a corner with your coat on backwards and a flowerpot on your head. ...more
Oct 04, 2011 rated it liked it
"She believed that because Christ's death on the Cross, his atoning for sin, had saved only people's souls, another redeemer was required, one who would redeem the body, and this redeemer was to be female." (40)

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The Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw was installed as the eighth Dean of Grace Cathedral on November 6, 2010. She is responsible for the overall vision and mission of the Cathedral, overseeing the spiritual life of the Cathedral and giving leadership to the Cathedral community. She runs the Cathedral in collaboration with the Chapter (the Senior Management Team) and Trustees (the Cathedral Board).

Dr. Shaw

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