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Plural marriage in the Nauvoo era of LDS Church history has long been a fascinating subject. To understand it fully requires one to look at it from the perspective of the man who introduced it, but just as crucial is a dive into the lives of the women he married, all who have their stories to tell. In his 1997 award-winning study, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, Todd Compton focused on the thirty-three women who he could demonstrate that Smith married, providing life stories of many who were well-known and others who have been largely forgotten. In his new work, In Sacred Loneliness: The Documents, Compton returns to his subject and provides the raw materials that helped him create his original study, writings composed by the women themselves.
This volume includes many autobiographical writings, diaries, and letters, with Compton providing annotations and introductory material that illuminates these crucial primary sources. This allows readers to take their understanding of this unique group of women to a new level and to drive home that fact that their lives go far beyond the Nauvoo experiment that forever links them to Mormonism’s founding prophet.
About the Author
Todd Compton is an independent historian who has written award-winning books in Mormon studies such as In Sacred Loneliness: the Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Signature Books, 1997); A Frontier Life: Jacob Hamblin, Explorer and Indian Missionary (University of Utah Press, 2013); and, in collaboration with Charles Hatch, A Widow’s Tale: The 1884–1896 Diary of Helen Mar Whitney (Utah State University Press, 2003). He is currently writing a biography of Navajo leader Totsohnii Hastiin (Ganado Mucho), a friend of Jacob Hamblin in Arizona. Compton lives in the Bay area, California, with his wife and two children.