Evelyn Underhill (6 December 1875 – 15 June 1941) was an English Anglo-Catholic writer and pacifist known for her numerous works on religion and spiritual practice, in particular Christian mysticism.
In the English-speaking world, she was one of the most widely read writers on such matters in the first half of the 20th century. No other book of its type—until the appearance in 1946 of Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy—met with success to match that of her best-known work, Mysticism, published in 1911.
Underhill was born in Wolverhampton. She was a poet and novelist, as well as a pacifist and mystic. An only child, she described her early mystical insights as "abrupt experiences of the peaceful, undifferentiated plane of reality—like the 'still desert' of the mystic—in which there was no multiplicity nor need of explanation". The meaning of these experiences became a lifelong quest and a source of private angst, provoking her to research and write.
Both her father and her husband were writers (on the law), London barristers, and yachtsmen. She and her husband, Hubert Stuart Moore, grew up together and were married on 3 July 1907. The couple had no children. She travelled regularly within Europe, primarily Switzerland, France and Italy, where she pursued her interests in art and Catholicism, visiting numerous churches and monasteries. Neither her husband (a Protestant) nor her parents shared her interest in spiritual matters...
Quotes by Evelyn Underhill
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