Cover of the first edition
|Author||Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery|
|Publisher||Doubleday & Company, Inc.|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|Pages||394 pp (first edition)|
|289.3/092/4 B 19|
|LC Class||BX8695.S515 N48 1984|
|Followed by||1994 2nd edition|
Generally accepted as a groundbreaking biography, the book places Emma Smith into a context that has better explained the trials and sacrifices of the members of the early Latter Day Saint church. The work made possible, along with other more recent historical works, a major reinterpretation of the formative period of Mormonism.
Avery and Newell provided the following note in the book's introduction:
Early leaders in Utah castigated Emma from their pulpits for opposing Brigham Young and the practice of polygamy, and for lending support to the Reorganization. As these attitudes filtered down through the years, Emma was virtually written out of official Utah histories. In this biography, we have attempted to reconstruct the full story of this remarkable and much misunderstood woman's experiences.
Despite its quality and recognition, the biography was startling and controversial among leaders, administrators and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Shortly after publication, Avery and Newell, both participating members in the church, were refused any opportunity to talk about their research or book in church meetings.
- Newell, Linda King and Avery, Valeen T. Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, Prophet's Wife, Elect Lady, Polygamy's Foe. Doubleday Publishing, September 1984. ISBN 0-385-17166-8. 2nd edition. rev., Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1994.
- Anderson, Devery S. (Summer 2002), "A History of Dialogue, Part Three: The Utah Experience, 1982-1989", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 35 (2): 1–71, retrieved 2008-03-19. Discusses the religious controversy following Mormon Enigma's initial publication in 1984 (page 40 to 48).
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