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From Mission to Madness: LAST SON OF THE MORMON PROPHET [Hardcover]

By Valeen Tippetts Avery (Author)
Our Price $ 44.20  
Retail Value $ 52.00  
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Item Number 159749  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   392
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.28" Width: 6.23" Height: 1.03"
Weight:   1.68 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 1998
Publisher   University of Illinois Press
ISBN  0252023994  
EAN  9780252023996  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Avery draws on a large body of correspondence for details of David's life and on his poetry to reveal his personality and emotional struggles. She tells of his mental deterioration, starting with a probable breakdown early in 1870 and ending with his death in 1904 in the Northern Illinois Hospital and Asylum for the Insane in Elgin, where he had been confined for twenty-seven years.

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More About Valeen Tippetts Avery

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Avery-Professor of history at Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff

Valeen Tippetts Avery currently resides in the state of Arizona.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Mormon Scholar reports  Apr 7, 1999
I hold a master's degree in history and am particularly interested in Mormon and Western history. This is perhaps one of the best books I have ever read. This has been a research topic for the author for nearly twenty years, beginning as her doctoral dissertation entitled "Insanity and the Sweet Singer." Avery took great pains in researching this book, and delayed its publication until full disclosure of all works became available upon the death of David's final grandson. David was like a young prince, forced to live in the shadow of a famous father and older brother, both leaders of respective churches. Avery shows the slow descent into madness experienced by David Hyrum Smith as he tries to find his place. A disasterous mission to Salt Lake City to convert Mormons will be of interest to Mormons, Reorganized LDS members and readers in general. The look at the Elgin asylum is an fascinating topic for interested parties as well. You cannot go wrong with this book.
Story of Pathos and Divergent Views  Feb 22, 1999
The book From Mission to Madness proves that mental illness can afflict even the posterity of the Prophets. David H. Smith, son of the famed Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, never lived to know his father; he missed the fatherly embrace by five months. Much to Brigham Young's dismay, David became affiliated with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and was one of its most effective and revered missionaries. Mental illness overcame him, and he spent the last three decades of his life in a mental hospital. Avery performed wonderfully well in framing his life story, using personal and official RLDS church correspondence. I felt the heartache and pain that David's family experienced as they struggled, hoped and despaired. This book was so engaging that I actually read the entire book in less than two weeks (which, for me, is noteworthy when considering any non-fiction work over 100 pages). David Smith's life was replete with pathos and unfulfilled expectations (he was destined to take his father's place as Prophet). The book also adequately describes the perpetual tension that existed, and at times does currently exist, between the Utah and the RLDS Mormon churches. Even though Avery placed an inordinant emphasis on Smith's poetical works, I would recommend this book to all.

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