Cover image for My grandfather's house : a genealogy of doubt and faith
My grandfather's house : a genealogy of doubt and faith
Clark, Robert, 1952-
Personal Author:
First Picador USA edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Picador USA, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiii, 288 pages : genealogical tables ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX4668.C52 A3 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A history of faith, doubt, and religious belief told through five centuries in the lives of one remarkable family, by the award winning author of In the Deep Midwinter and Mr. White's Confession Robert Clark traces the spiritual quests and struggles of his ancestors, from England's split with the Church of Rome at the end of the middle ages his own return to the faith five hundred years later. Clark reconstructs their lives as medieval Catholics, heretics, and inquisitors in the England of Henry VII; as Puritan settlers, participants in Indian wars, and accusers in witch trials in New England in the 1600s; as preachers, artists, writers, and agnostics during the thelolgical and intellectual upheavals of the 19th century that left them exploring creeds ranging from evangelical Protestantism to Unitarianism to Buddhism to atheism. In the context of King Henry's divorces and his quarrel with both the Pope and Martin Luther; the firery preaching of Jonathan Edwards and Cotton Mather; the religious and personal struggles of Emerson Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, and Margaret Fuller, Clark weaves a rich history that culminates in his own quest through doubt toward faith. My Grandfather's House is a profound, passionate book that will speak to readers of Karen Armstrong and Kathleen Norris.

Author Notes

Robert Clark is the author of the novels In the Deep Midwinter and Mr. White's Confession , and River of the West , a cultural history of the Columbia River (all Picador), and The Solace of Food , a biography of James Beard. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, he lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Two factors shape this religious memoir: Clark's family and his own experience. In an effort to explain the evolution of his faith, Clark takes readers on a trip through the ages, from the time of his ancestors of the 1500s to his coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s. Along the way, he reflects on history, creeds, art, literature, philosophy, and religion. He points out the faults of the Puritans; calls Mary, the mother of Jesus, "the vehicle by which Christians come to Christ"; and discusses the value of spiritual signs. Although not a meticulous historian, Clarke has nevertheless created a book of general interest. Recommended for larger public libraries.√ĄGeorge Westerlund, Providence P.L., Palmyra, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.