Cover: The Death and Afterlife of the North American Martyrs, from Harvard University PressCover: The Death and Afterlife of the North American Martyrs in HARDCOVER

The Death and Afterlife of the North American Martyrs

Add to Cart

Product Details


$48.00 • £38.95 • €43.00

ISBN 9780674051188

Publication Date: 11/18/2013


480 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

25 halftones


[A] fascinating book.—Nathan M. Greenfield, The Times Literary Supplement

Anderson has masterfully traced the evolution of the martyrs’ ‘myth’ to the present day… It is a fascinating read.—Michael Stogre, America

[Anderson] succeeds in illuminating the martyrs’ long afterlife, sketching along the way some major contours of Canadian history while keeping American and French contexts in mind as well… As a comparative and multinational work, this book is exemplary… From the first page to the last, this beautifully written, smartly crafted, and assiduously researched book models the kind of empathetic, honest, and nuanced approach that characterizes history at its best.—Danae Jacobson, Books & Culture

Emma Anderson has written a big book packed with fascinating information and insights… The Death and Afterlife of the North American Martyrs offers a rich and valuable study of the construction of memory as evidenced in this ‘ever-evolving, ever-contested cult.’—Jodi Bilinkoff, American Historical Review

[An] innovative history that crosses disciplines.—R. Berleant-Schiller, Choice

Emma Anderson has done something awe-inspiring: she has breathed life into the evocative story of the North American martyrs and their legacy. What’s most exciting is that she has accomplished this with both the hand of a great storyteller and the mind of a brilliant scholar.—Joseph Boyden, author of Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce

This beautifully written study of how the Jesuit martyrs have been remembered and reinvented in the popular Catholic imagination is without rival in terms of its scope, ambition, and achievement. I enthusiastically recommend it.—Kathleen Sprows Cummings, author of New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era

The eight men who became North America’s first canonized saints have been imagined and appropriated in many ways by both Euro-Americans and Amerindians on both sides of the U.S.–Canada border. With vivid style and powerful insight, Anderson explores the history and changing interpretations of the martyrs’ deaths, which, three centuries later, continue to serve as powerful cultural and spiritual symbols.—Dominique Deslandres, author of Croire et faire croire: Les missions francaises au XVIIe siecle

In a lively and engaging style, Anderson recreates the story of Jesuit missionaries killed in the seventeenth century. More importantly, she uncovers the different meanings given to their deaths by American Catholics, Canadian nationalists, and Native people across the years. A fascinating book.—Allan Greer, author of Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits

This richly imagined book is a delight to read. In prose of exquisite, often sensuous detail and striking immediacy, Anderson offers a compelling history that opens up important questions in the study of religion. Her account of Brébeuf’s torture and death is a tour-de-force, while her treatment of the interactions between Native Americans and Europeans is psychologically acute and emotionally resonant.—Robert A. Orsi, author of Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them

This beautifully written book about memory will be widely praised. It respectfully analyzes the practices and worldviews of both aboriginal peoples and European missionaries. It combines historical and ethnographic methods to craft a story that ranges from the seventeenth century to the present. And, at a time when many scholars are trumpeting comparative and transnational studies, it provides a model for those who want to write religious history across national borders.—Thomas A. Tweed, author of Crossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: Memory Speaks: On Losing and Reclaiming Language and Self, by Julie Sedivy, from Harvard University Press

Lost in Translation: Reclaiming Lost Language

In Memory Speaks: On Losing and Reclaiming Language and Self, Julie Sedivy sets out to understand the science of language loss and the potential for renewal. Sedivy takes on the psychological and social world of multilingualism, exploring the human brain’s capacity to learn—and forget—languages at various stages of life. She argues that the struggle to remain connected to an ancestral language and culture is a site of common ground: people from all backgrounds can recognize the crucial role of language in forming a sense of self.