In recent years the woman who was incontestably the most powerful of the Middle Ages, the German nun, Hildegard von Bingen, has been the object of considerable interest throughout the world. Not least thanks to her liturgical music. However, in Anne Lise Marstrand-Jørgensen’s thoroughly research literary fantasy we see Hildegard for the first time as a person of flesh and blood, and this has been duly recognised by Danish reviewers and readers. We follow the story of Hildegard over fifty years starting from her birth. We follow her from those years as a frail girl visited by powerful religious visions to her time at the monastery, where, in addition to music, she produced poetry and scientific works, corresponded with German emperors and was active as an abbess, physician and mystic. Marstrand-Jørgensen combines a good story with sensitive literary language, while shows exceptional empathy in her descriptions of Hildegard’s relations to her mystified parents and her friendships with the flagellant hermit, Jutta, and with Volmar, the monk, who was her equal in years. At a time when women were expected to be seen and not heard, Hildegard constantly did the opposite. She spoke about her religious visions, and in time they gave her untold power. In the second novel, we meet Hildegard during the second part of her life. This part is on the list of our plans for the second or third year of the program.
Anne Lise Marstrand-Jørgensen (1971) has a degree in Comparative Literary Studies. Hildegard has earned her Weekendavisen’s Literary Prize. Marstrand-Jørgensen was also awarded a very prestigious prize by the Danish Arts Foundation.