Lourdes was at the very center of 19th century debates on religion, science, and medicine. Both the Church and secularists championed the "miracle" town as crucial in shaping how society should think about the mind, body, and spirit. Since the "visions" of Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 transformed the quiet Pyrenean town into an international tourist and pilgrimage destination, it has been a site for controversy. In her well-crafted and carefully researched book, Harris deftly places Lourdes and its attendant spiritual movement firmly at the center of French history and shows its significance in the country’s development.
Ruth Harris, Paperback, ISBN 10: 0141038489, ISBN 13: 9780141038483