(Janet Miriam) Taylor (Holland) Caldwell Virginia Kirkus' Service - Essay

Virginia Kirkus' Service

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In choosing to put emphasis on the early life of Luke the physician, Taylor Caldwell has presented [in Dear and Glorious Physician] quite a different picture from that Frank Slaughter has given in The Road to Bithynia…. It is—she tells her readers—a subject on which she has worked most of her life. The result shows an immense amount of research, a dedication to her subject. Luke emerges as a whole man—and most readers will find the biographical aspects of her story—up to the time when she gears it into the Gospel record—far more moving and convincing than the final chapters, when Luke approaches what has been, at times unwittingly, his life goal, an identification with the "unknown god" of his youth. It makes an extraordinarily authentic picture of the Greek and Roman world, with the scene shifting from Alexandria to Rome to other parts of the Roman Empire; peopled by individuals who made up that world, in their relation to each other, the conquerors and the conquered, the victims and the slaves, the masters, the rulers…. It is a wonderful story, drawn from many sources, most of them apocryphal, and it builds up to the crucifixion—at second hand—the coming to the land of Israel—the weaving into his Gospel the story told by many, and finally the culmination in the meeting with Mary.

A review of "Dear and Glorious Physician," in Virginia Kirkus' Service, Vol. XXVII, No. 1, January 1, 1959, p. 17.