One Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix   -     By: Jane Kirkpatrick
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One Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix

Waterbrook Press / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

After growing up in a difficult household, Dorothea Dix became a teacher and author. But in 1841, her orderly life was upended when she taught a Sunday school class at a woman's prison. Kirkpatrick's historical novel provides an authentic portrait of the woman who challenged Victorian convention and revolutionized the treatment of the mentally ill. 400 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Waterbrook Press
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1400074312
ISBN-13: 9781400074310

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Publisher's Description

One dedicated voice to the suffering of many
Born to an unavailable mother and an abusive father, Dorothea Dix longs simply to protect and care for her younger brothers, Charles and Joseph. But at just fourteen, she is separated from them and sent to live with relatives to be raised properly. Lonely and uncertain, Dorothea discovers that she does not possess the ability to accept the social expectations imposed on her gender and she desires to accomplish something more than finding a suitable mate.
Yearning to fulfill her God-given purpose, Dorothea finds she has a gift for teaching and writing. Her pupils become a kind of family, hearts to nurture, but long bouts of illness end her teaching and Dorothea is adrift again. It’s an unexpected visit to a prison housing the mentally ill that ignites an unending fire in Dorothea’s heart—and sets her on a journey that will take her across the nation, into the halls of the Capitol, befriending presidents and lawmakers, always fighting to relieve the suffering of what Scripture deems, the least of these.
In bringing nineteenth-century, historical reformer Dorothea Dix to life, author Jane Kirkpatrick combines historical accuracy with the gripping narrative of a woman who recognized suffering when others turned away, and the call she heeded to change the world.

Author Bio

Jane Kirkpatrick has authored over 20 books, including The Daughter’s Walk and Where Lilacs Still Bloom. A lively speaker, Kirkpatrick is a frequent keynote presenter for conferences, women's retreats,fund-raisers and workshops.  Jane believes that our lives are the stories that others read first and she encourages groups to discover the power of their own stories to divinely heal and transform. She lives with her husband Jerry in Central Oregon.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for One Glorious Ambition

"Jane Kirkpatrick’s ability to probe the human spirit makes One Glorious Ambition a soaring novel of love, compassion, and duty. Born a nineteenth-century woman with few rights, Dorothea Dix nonetheless challenged the nation’s most powerful men to provide humane treatment for the hopeless—the retarded and insane. In Kirkpatrick’s skillful hands, One Glorious Ambition inspires like few other novels."
—Sandra Dallas, author of True Sisters and The Quilt Walk

"One Glorious Ambition is a compelling novelization of Dorothea Dix’s crusade on behalf of the mentally ill. Kirkpatrick’s painstaking documentation and customary attention to historical detail shine here, and the connections between Dix’s personal relationships and her life’s work stand out. Dix is a worthy American heroine. The interview section at the end of the book adds many fascinating nuggets to the story."
—Susan Page Davis, award-winning author of more than forty books

"Jane Kirkpatrick has the rare ability to use what’s known about historical women as the foundation for compelling historical fiction. Here, Kirkpatrick shines her light on the remarkable life of Dorothea Dix, seamlessly blending fact and fiction to illuminate Dix’s journey from a girl struggling to save her family to a woman championing all those in need. Dorothea Dix can still inform and inspire modern readers, and One Glorious Ambition is a story to be treasured."
—Kathleen Ernst, award-winning author of the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries

"Jane Kirkpatrick uses her considerable writing talents to bring Dorothea Dix to life in this exciting historical novel. In doing so, Kirkpatrick gives a voice and face not only to a heroic crusader but also to Americans seldom seen or heard in our society—those living with mental disorders. Her fiction reads like fact because it describes a campaign that still needs to be waged and exposes societal flaws that have yet to be addressed."
—Pete Earley, author of Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness

"Thank you, Jane, for personally introducing me to Dorothea in your book One Glorious Ambition. It is a joyful experience to come to actually know someone I knew so much about. My admiration of Dorothea Dix and her work has been deepened by your work, Jane."
—Dean Brooks, MD, superintendent (1955–1982), Oregon State Hospital

"A must-read! I was moved to tears by the sense of history, tragedy, and hope of Dorothea’s life work accomplished on behalf of people with mental health challenges. Every human being should know Dorothea Dix’s story. Jane Kirkpatrick captures it magnificently!"
—Gina Firman Nikkel, PhD, president and CEO, Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

"Read this book and have Dorothea Dix transform your life. Be uplifted not simply by the grand trajectory of Dix’s singular journey but by the irresistible voice that Jane Kirkpatrick compels you to hear. A deeply sensitive and intelligent young woman overcomes trenchant pain and social barriers to fight tirelessly for those who have neither a voice nor an advocate. Her impossible life is unraveled and liberated in this novel. And read with a sense of urgency, for the battles fought by Dorothea Dix more than a century ago are very much in need of being waged again."
—Charles Kiselyak, producer and director of award-winning films including Completely Cuckoo, Fearful Symmetry, and A Constant Forge

Product Reviews

4.2 Stars Out Of 5
4.2 out of 5
4.5 out Of 5
(4.5 out of 5)
4.4 out Of 5
(4.4 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.2 out Of 5
(4.2 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 28
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    One Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix
    February 18, 2016
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Excellent treatment of the beginnings of modern treatment for the mentally ill. I would recommend this book to everyone.
  2. Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    April 1, 2014
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Dorothea Dix had a difficult childhood. She was poor, hungry and at a young age in charge of the care of her younger brother, Charles. Her mother was not lucid much of the time and spent her time lying in bed. Her father drank away any money they might have and beat his children with a switch when they didn't work hard enough. She was unloved and very lonely, which shaped her life. Dorothea walked 40 miles at the age of 12 to beg her grandmother to let Dorothea and Charles live with her. Her grandmother turned her away. After a few years, however, Dorothea's grandmother sent a wagon to bring Dorothea only to live with her.

    During her time with her grandmother, who wanted Dorothea to marry in order to provide for her future, Dorothea had other plans. She struggled to fit in, to be female and not lose that identity in a male dominated society. She spoke her mind too much instead of being quiet. She felt God had called her to be a teacher. She soon taught morning, afternoons and evenings. She opened a school for indigent children to learn so they might have better opportunities in life. After a long illness during a journey to England, Dorothea began to think maybe teaching was not to be her glorious ambition to serve God. She had thought her teaching a way to instill godly morals and values for spiritual well-being as well as teach skills to better earthly lives. She develops a close friendship with another single lady and soon considers her the sister she never had. However, when tragedy strikes her friend, their relationship dissolves, leaving Dorothea feeling even more alone and bereft than she thought possible. She also tries to adopt her cousin's young daughter, but again is rejected. Her heart broken, Dorothea throws herself into her work and publishes her writings. Even amidst this rejection, she doesn't turn from God or searching for the one ultimate way she is meant to serve Him. She stumbles upon her purpose when asked to teach a Sunday School class at the jail for incarcerated women. Next door is where the mentally disabled people were housed. After touring the house, Dorothea is appalled at the living conditions and petitions the local authority to have this corrected immediately. Thus begins her tireless campaign for the rights of the mentally ill, their living conditions as well as their treatment.

    This is a very interesting and informative fictional account of the life of a real historical person. Such passion and devotion to a cause and to her faith are truly inspiring. Dorothea's call to aid "even the least of these" guided her adult life, making her famous, but also opening doors to meet those in a position to help her crusade. This one woman through her generosity and tireless work made a huge difference in the lives of so many. This just shows what God can do through one person who is willing to answer when He calls.
  3. Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Compassion for the mentally ill
    January 21, 2014
    ACS Book Finder
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is a excellent book and I enjoyed it very much. Dorothea Dix was a woman full of compassion and saw it as her God-given mission to help those struggling with mental illness. If you are from North Carolina, you might think this book is specifically about the birth of Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh. It is not. It tells of Dorothea's steadfast drive and passion to help as many as possible dealing with mental health illness across the country in the late mid to late 1800's - a time certainly when most were just called lunatics. She was instrumental in legislation and construction of facilities to house the mentally ill. Dorothea Dix was a crusader in this area of health care.

    This is the first book that I've read written by Jane Kirkpatrick. Mrs. Kirkpatrick is also a former mental health counselor and administrator for those struggling with mental health illness. I believe this is also why the book was so good because she is writing about something that she has exposure to and is compassionate about herself. A good write and a very good read and I found myself "googling" Dorothea Dix and reading more about her - a wonderful Christian woman and a great advocate for those struggling with mental illness! (rev. P.Howard)

    DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.
  4. Michigan
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Jane Kirkpatrick is the best!
    October 30, 2013
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Although I'm not done with this book, I'm thrilled with Jane's writing and can't seem to get enough. I've already recommended this book to another Jane Kirkpatrick fan. Jane does her background work extremely well and I trust her interpretations. Dorothea Dix was an amazing woman and she did a great work in the name of God. Everyone, it seems, can relate to the subject of insanity. We might all know someone who suffers in some degree and it is wonderful to know that someone gave their life to helping "the least of these".
  5. Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    one glorious ambition review
    July 14, 2013
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    What does an epileptic, an insane person, someone with downs syndrome, a debtor, an alcoholic, a passionate woman, and a murderer have in common? Give up? Well, in the 1800s they would have all been put in the same jail cell. I have no clue who thought that would be a good idea and why some of the above mentioned were even jailed at all is ridiculous! Dorthea Dix is the daughter of a mentally ill mother and alcoholic and child abusive father. (Neither parent was jailed.) Dix spent her life trying to fit in and find a family; the family she had was incapable of loving her at all. When she reached 40 yrs old she discovered that her life's work would be relieving the suffering of those "relieved of their reason." She spent the rest of her life doing so.

    The book starts off told in fiction form following Dorthea from childhood to her twenties. It takes a more historical telling form when she starts her cause of humane treatment of those with mental disabilities of many sorts. This book tells of amazingly horrible acts of abuse to people of mental ailments. Including the ability to buy such a person to use for labor or entertainment purposes. Though it could read dry at times, the information is astounding. Dix is also made known to the reader clearly and I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for her. She always tried to fit in and yet was always afraid that she might become mentally ill. I give this book a B+. Really good. I received this book for free from
Displaying items 1-5 of 28
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