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Book Reviews137 improvement in many lives, both among neglected Americans and among the poor of Africa and Asia. Meanwhile, Malone's simplicity and deep personal faith inspired the "common folks" who comprised much of the evangelical Quaker constituency from Ohio westward. Arthur O. Roberts's "Introduction" ably sets the Malones in historical perspective and deftly analyzes American evangelical Quakerism since the 188Os, especially the early conflict between the Bible colleges and Quaker liberal arts colleges. One may quibble with Roberts over such details as how "progressive" the Malones were and when the holiness movement narrowed in its social ethics. Both Roberts and Oliver also gloss over the shrillness of the attack on theological modernism launched by Cleveland-based associates ofMalone in the Evangelical Friend of 1905-1914. Nevertheless, this volume elucidates greatly the positive side of American evangelical Quakerism in the era before World War I. Seminole Junior CollegeRichard E. Wood Marjorie Sykes: Quaker Gandhian. By Martha Dart. York: Sessions Book Trust and Woodbrooke College, 1993. xii + 159 pp. Illustrations, maps, bibliographies , and index. Paper, £8. In Marjorie Sykes: Quaker Gandhian, the author has the opportunity to explore the life and work ofa woman whose work and teaching appear to have made a major impact on the circles in which she moved. The work is introduced as both biography and tribute. Beginning with her upbringing in England and concluding with Marjorie Sykes's partial retirement to Swarthmore, a retirement community near London, the book provides an outline sketch of the events of Marjorie Sykes's life. The book, however, was clearly intended as much more; as an exploration of the thought and work which lay behind the spiritual journey which Marjorie Sykes travelled to become the Quaker and Gandhian of the title. In this, the book is unsatisfactory. In an attempt to cover a lengthy life in a small book the author conscientiously informs us of the subject's itinerary, the people she met and the experiences that "impressed Marjorie immensely" (p. 29), but we are rarely privileged to see any manifestation ofthese experiences through analysis ofher work and writing. At times, this emphasis on the places to which Marjorie Sykes travelled—as in chapterthirteen—reduces thebookto atravelog, made more frustratingbythe lack ofdetail as Dart moves from event to event without pause for more than cursory reflection. Dart's treatment of Marjorie's spiritual and intellectual development is similarly superficial; we are told, for example, that her ideas were important, important enough for her to be invited to teach at Sevagram, yet there is little discussion of what these ideas were, apart from a cursory outline of Gandhian "simple living." Her convictions ofGandhianism and ofQuakerism are each dealt with briefly early in the text and are then taken forgranted, as ifthis long-lived, thoughtful and active woman experienced no spiritual growthbeyond hertwenties. This might be less of a problem if the author's intention was not clearly to hold Marjorie Sykes as a spiritual example. The tone ofthe text is hagiographie, reinforced by the oversimplification of character and intellectual activity to which I have already referred, 138Quaker History and while there is evidence in the text that the author spent much time talking to friends and admirers of Marjorie Sykes, her inclusion ofonly the complimentary and often frankly adoring quotation further bolsters the static and two-dimensional nature of the portrait. While the book may have some use as an inspirational text—it inspired this readerto find out more aboutthe subject—its simplicity, its overuse oflengthy and often purposeless and unreferenced quotations from "friends" render it suspect for any academic purposes. As a tribute to a remarkable woman it also falls short and Martha Dart's attempt to render Marjorie Sykes a Quaker Saint are undermined by the strength of character which shines through. Pendle HillFrank Mendlesohn ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 137-138
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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