MP3 Audio Sample
In The Column of Burning Spices, part two of the Hildegard of Bingen series which began with The Greenest Branch, the medieval era comes vividly to life in all its romanticism and splendor. However, the societal strictures that prevent women from being able to access education and live independent lives are also on display.
The year is 1143. Hildegard, already a well-known physician, has expanded her work to writing not just about medicine but on theological matters as well. Once again, the monks of St. Disibod are there to stop her, citing the biblical passages that admonish against "women teachers." Also, Abbot Kuno is aging, and it is only a matter of time before he is succeeded in the post by Prior Helenger, who wants nothing more than to see Hildegard permanently relegated to the convent's enclosure.
Leaving St. Disibod is Hildegard's only hope of continuing her mission of healing and writing as she sees fit. She has been saving money from the convent's endowments for years, but in order to establish her own foundation she will need the backing of a powerful man of the Church. There are several who could become her champions—from the famed Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, to the Archbishop of Mainz, to the newly elected Pope Eugenius III. But will they take up a woman's cause and subvert centuries of established tradition? And will it be enough to protect Hildegard from a betrayal that lurks closer than she could ever imagine?
Running time 9 hrs 20 min