Stephen Wade

The Girl Who Lived on Air

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For two years Sarah Jacob was the Welsh Fasting Girl who 'lived on air'. Did she really take neither food or drink in that time? Although Sarah lived in remote rural Carmarthenshire in the 1860s she became a national sensation through the newspapers – people from all over Britain traveled to see this miraculous young girl, leaving gifts of money… Was she really miraculous? Sarah's case stood on the dividing line between belief and the evolving rationalism of science, and shortly after a team of nurses arrived from London, she died. After her death, her parents were sentenced to hard labour for her starvation. This fascinating new book unravels the many strands of the Sarah Jacob mystery – medical, spiritual, religious, legal, political, ethical, social, family – and its place in mid-Victorian Britain at the height of Empire. Author Stephen Wade provides new insight into what was a 'sensation' but also an all too human story.
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216 printed pages
Original publication


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