Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nauvoo Polygamy: "...but we called it celestial marriage" - now available

Nauvoo Polygamy
"... but we called it celestial marriage"

Nauvoo Mormon Polygamy

From Signature Book news website:

In his book, George Smith carefully traces the beginnings of polygamy among some 900 of Joseph Smith's closest followers (196 men and 717 women), all of which took place in the 1840s city of Nauvoo, Illinois. A 65-page chart at the end of the book lists each individual's vital statistics, including marriages. Alone worth the price of the book, the chart just scratches the surface of what else this volume contains.

Nauvoo Polygamy is a highly engaging and thoughtful narrative that draws from original sources; discusses the strengths and weaknesses of primary source documents; examines the characteristics of Mormon polygamy including mother-daughter brides, sister-sister brides, brides with current husbands, and adult-adolescent relationships; and produces the results of extensive research from the annals of history regarding other parallel polygamous innovations.

This is a fresh look at a very old topic. It is full of surprises and hard to put down, although also hyper-rational and clear. It should put to rest any remaining question anyone in the world might still have about whether Joseph Smith was a polygamist (he was—with thirty-eight wives) or if polygamy began with his successor Brigham Young (it did not; it had nearly 1,000 practitioners before the Saints left Nauvoo for the West). It also demonstrates that the current fundamentalist Mormons are not far removed in assumed excesses from what was considered normative in the early days of the LDS Church.

Reviews available here.
Introduction here.
More information here.

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