Abode of Love. Growing Up in a Messianic Cult by Kate Barlow

By Kate Barlow

When Kate Barlow was once a bit lady, she moved along with her mom and her older sisters to a ramshackle English mansion. They weren't by myself at the once-grand property, surrounded as they have been via twenty eccentric, aged ladies, one among whom used to be her grandmother . . . or was once she? This awesome memoir is the real tale of existence inside of "The A," the notorious Agapemone, named for the Greek notice that means dwelling house of affection. It used to be a non secular cult based in mid-19th century England by way of a defrocked clergyman who claimed to be guided in my view via the Holy Ghost. Agapemonites, a lot of whom have been prosperous, single ladies, lived jointly at the property. They believed the second one Coming used to be drawing close and that their founder may dwell ceaselessly. while Henry James Prince died all at once, his successor declared himself the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, a statement which brought on rioting within the streets. The e-book finds the author's slow awakening to the non secular and sexual scandal that enveloped her...

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It was an unsatisfactory answer, the first of many. School soon beckoned, though, and I was caught up in my busy life there, where I relegated my unspoken questions to the recesses of my young mind. * * * When I returned home for Easter, I found plans had been made for Margaret and me to go and stay with our paternal grandparents in their Cornwall home during our summer holidays. I was excited about the train journey, during which we would travel under the watchful eyes of the guard, but apprehensive about staying with people I barely knew, even if they were my grandparents.

The two sisters lived in one of the three ‘gates’, large comfortable houses built at the northern, western and eastern points of the estate. Some of the other ladies were renegades from the wealthy Victorian merchant class, like Ada Kemp, of the Kemp biscuit family. Toto, whose real name was Phoebe Ker, was the daughter of a wealthy merchant who had paid the printing costs for Voice of the Bride, the community hymnal once used in the chapel and the London church. Her brother was a publisher in America and her niece, Grace, made regular, lengthy visits to Spaxton following her retirement as headmistress of a girls’ school on Long Island, New York.

I imagined tumbling down, arms and legs flailing, as I tried to stop myself, Margaret’s hands reaching out to grab me, eyes wide and her face a mask of horror. But Margaret had already started back down. ‘Hurry up, Kitty. Someone will see you,’ she urged. I glanced down past the attic window we had climbed out of, to where my sister crouched in the valley between the mansion’s roofs and was proceeding to lay out the draughts board. Beyond her, framed in the V-shaped gap, were the cottages, once home to most of the Kitchen Parlour but now almost empty as their former occupants passed away or moved into the warmth of the main house.

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