Author Sara Rath writes historical novel about a Vermont Spiritualist
The Vermont Historical Society has published Seven Years of Grace, a dramatized account of the life of Achsa W. Sprague (1827–1862), who lectured to audiences of thousands on Spiritualism, the abolition of slavery, women’s rights, and prison reform. She presented herself as a medium, lecturing and singing hymns in a state of trance. From Plymouth Notch, Vermont, Achsa embraced the Spiritualist movement and embarked on a seven-year crusade across America. Though she publicly rejected the doctrine of Free Love supported by many Spiritualists, she secretly struggled against the growing love she felt for a married man.
“Grounded in the extensive collection of Sprague’s papers at the Vermont Historical Society, Seven Years
of Grace is a fascinating tale that takes you deep into the heart of antebellum American culture,” says VHS Executive Director Steve Perkins. “Sara Rath is the author of fifteen books. Autographed bookplates will be available during our Third Thursday luncheon talk on May 19 at the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier.”
John B. Buescher, author of The Other Side of Salvation, reviewed Seven Years of Grace, “A wonderful historical novel. Sara Rath has deeply researched the small but highly influential number of itinerant woman lecturers during the mid-nineteenth century, and she has found a brilliant way to tell Achsa Sprague’s story.”
This book was published in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Press. The Vermont Historical Society awarded Sara Rath its Weston A. Cate Fellowship to support her research on Achsa W. Sprague. She lives in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
More information about the Vermont Historical Society and this book can be found at vermonthistory.org/store or call (802) 828-1414.
Vermont Historical Society publishes book about Spiritualist Achsa Sprague of Plymouth Notch, Vermont.