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The film, Many Beautiful Things, has introduced Lilias Trotter to many people for the first time, raising questions and queries about her life and legacy. What did her work in North Africa really involve? What specific approaches did she use to connect with the Arab Muslims? How was she received? Or, more importantly, how was her message received? What was the nature of her dialogue with the Sufi Mystic Brotherhood? How did she survive the desert years – physically and spiritually? What, if any, was her legacy in Algeria? What is her legacy today?
The following resources are all “in-print” resources which answer many of the above questions. Some are by Lilias Trotter and others are about her. Descriptions of each have been provided. If you click on the image, it will link you directly to Amazon to purchase the book. Most of the following resources can also be purchased via our shop on the Many Beautiful Things website: http://manybeautifulthings.com/products
A Passion for the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter, by Miriam Rockness, Discovery House Publishers, 1999. This is the most current biography, drawn from original sources as well as past biographies.
A Blossom in the Desert: Reflections of Faith in the Art and Writings of Lilias Trotter, by Miriam Rockness. Discovery House Publishers, 2007. This is a wonderful compilation of some of Lilias most memorable insights paired with her watercolors, most of which have been hidden in obscurity for a century.
Images of Faith: Devotional Edition, Volumes 1 & 2, by Miriam Rockness. This expanded (volumes 1 & 2) edition of Images of Faith is newly designed for easy devotional access at a reader-friendly price. Rockness presents profound devotional reflections that bridge our “now” with Lilias Trotter’s timeless art and classic spiritual insights.
Images of Faith: Reflections Inspired by Lilias Trotter, by Miriam Rockness, Oxvision 2017. This book goes beyond the biographical facts of Lilias’s life to ponder the deeper meaning of her life. Miriam shares her own reflections inspired by the words and life of Lilias. Glimpses into Trotter’s unpublished diaries provide a rare inside view of the ordinary moments of life revealed within those pages and the context in which Lilias’s spiritual insight was forged. Lavishly illustrated with watercolors from the brush of Lilias.
A Way of Seeing, by Lilias Trotter, compiled by Miriam Rockness, Oxvision 2016. Forty Trotter reflections paired with watercolors from the Egerton/Trotter Collection (Lilias’s family archives). Two additional features that make this book unique are 1) the Preface about Ruskin/Trotter relationship, written by Ruskin scholar Stephen Wildman and 2) the Introduction about the art of seeing, written by classic scholar and teacher on faith and art, Darcy Weir.
Parables of the Christ-life, by Lilias Trotter, Oxvision 2019. Though undated, her diaries reveal that it was conceived in 1897 while walking through the African hillsides then written at the Olivage Training Center outside Algiers during months of Saturdays in 1898. Lilias explores faith-lessons derived from the plant life unique to North Africa. This singular facsimile edition is reproduced from the first edition and is faithful in both the presentation of text and colorplates. The foreward, written by Richard J. Foster, is an added bonus to this Trotter classic.
Parables of the Cross, by Lilias Trotter, Oxvision 2015. This devotional classic, written in 1893, remains rare and true, composed of timeless verities tested by personal experience. This volume is distinct from other reprintings being the only facsimile edition. This edition includes high quality color plates copied from the original publication.
Lily: The Girl Who Could See, by Sally Oxley with Tim Ladwig and Miriam Rockness. Oxvision 2015. Lilias’s developing talent and calling is presented in a recently published picture book for “children of all ages.” Here the simple narrative of her life is compellingly related by Sally Oxley and beautifully illustrated by Tim Ladwig.
Lilias Trotter: Daring in the Desert, by Irene Howat. CF4Kids, 2016. A chapter book for children – part of the award-winning Trailblazer books (historical fiction novels introducing great Christian heroes). Advertised as a “read-aloud” book for 8-9 year-olds and a “read alone” book for ages 9-14, this is actually a wonderful read for anyone.
Lilias Trotter’s 1876 Sketchbook: Scenes from Lucerne to Venice. This is a facsimile edition of the sketchbook that a young Lilias (23 years old) carried to Venice – where she met the famed John Ruskin, England’s foremost arbiter of art. It contains sketches most likely instructed by the master himself.
Lilias Trotter’s 1889 Sketchbook: Scenes from North Africa, Italy & Switzerland, Oxvision. This facsimile edition of her pocket sketchbook reveals her ability to quickly capture views with accuracy and beauty – a skill that John Ruskin extolled in his 1883 “Art of England” lecture.
The Sevenfold Secret, Lilias’ masterful treatise for her beloved Sufi Mystics, while not available in hard copy, can be accessed online (click on the title). This remarkable and relevant work is based on Jesus’ seven “I AM’s” recorded in the Gospel of John and, through their unfolding “secrets,” speaks to the longings of a seeker’s soul – then and now.
Many Beautiful Things plunges viewers into the complex age of Victorian England to meet Lilias Trotter. As Lilias journeys to French Algeria in the late 1800’s to pioneer missionary work with women and children viewers are left to wonder “Could you abandon a dream to pursue your true calling?” Featuring the voices of Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) and John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones). Directed by award-winning filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson (As We Forgive) with original music by Sleeping at Last. Executive Producers: Brian and Sally Oxley. This DVD contains options for Japanese audio and Japanese, Chinese and Korean Subtitles. It can also be purchased Internationally via the Vision Video website.
All of the above products, are also available here.