Book Review, “One Glorious Ambition,” Jane Kirkpatrick author

One Glorious Ambition coverOne Glorious Ambition, by Jane Kirkpatrick, subtitled The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix, is the story of the life of Dorothea Dix. It chronicles her life, reading as if it were a fictional story.

Miss Dix begins life as the daughter of a poor family. Her father is abusive toward Dorothea and her brothers. Her mother is “unavailable,” obviously mentally ill. Her grandmother, who seems cold to the sad circumstances, removes Dorothea from her home at the age of fourteen and sends her to live with relatives. But while the family wishes her to marry and secure her future, Dorothea soon realizes that she is much too independent for marriage. She teaches for several years, then becomes very ill. Eventually, she discovers that God’s purpose for her life includes a crusade to improve conditions for the mentally ill of society, many of whom are imprisoned or kept in sheds at this point in history.

I found this book intriguing, especially at the beginning. I admire Miss Dix and her efforts to improve society as her God-given mission, but I have to admit that parts of the book were very depressing and difficult to read. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys reading about women in history.


I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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