Caryll Houselander

Caryll Houselander

Caryll Houselander (1901-1954) was a British Roman Catholic laywoman; a mystic, writer, artist, visionary and healer. Born in London in 1901, Caryll was the second of two daughters born to Willmott and Gertrude (nee Provis) Houselander. Her first book, This War is the Passion. written during World War II, launched her prolific writing career. Houselander's talents included painting and many woodcarvings. Caryll's "divinely eccentric" life was principally a devotion to contemplating Christ in all and men and women and in all life circumstances. Maisie Ward (a friend of Caryll and author of her principal biography, Caryll Houselander: That Divine Eccentric (Sheed & Ward, 1962), states, "Her message can be summed in a single sentence; we must learn to see Christ in everyone." Msgr. Ronald Knox was quoted as saying about Caryll's writing style, " . . . she seemed to see everything for the first time and the driest of doctrinal considerations shone out like a restored picture when she finished it."Though she remained a single woman throughout her life, Caryll was engaged for a time to Sidney Reilly, who was the model for Ian Fleming's character, "James Bond."Caryll Houselander has been described as being a mystic in the tradition of Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Siena, and Teresa of Avila. She is best known for her works such as The Reed of God.Caryll died of cancer on October 12th, 1954. Her bibliography consists of more than seven hundred written works including poems, short stories and articles, articles for juvenile publications and children's books (for some of these she did artwork for as well), articles for various Catholic publications, and, of course, her own books.
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