Siren and saint, hedonist and penitent, Mary of Egypt was a woman of extremes. A runaway at the age of twelve, she ventured to Alexandria to begin a life of reckless promiscuity. But a pilgrimage to Jerusalem brought about an inward change that drew the adult Mary into wilderness and solitude. From the monasteries of fifth-century Palestine to medieval Europe, the fame of this Desert Mother gradually spread—by both the written and the spoken word, and through visual art. Lions and Souls is a work of fiction based on ancient accounts of Mary’s life. Retold for twenty-first-century readers, an enigmatic figure from a remote past is revealed to be surprisingly familiar and relevant.
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