Mary Called Magdalene

About the Book

Biblical references to Mary Magdalene are tantalizingly brief, yet she continues to spark controversy, curiosity, and veneration. We know more about her than about many of Christ’s male disciples, and her significance is enshrined in her ancient honorific “Apostle to the Apostles.” But still, as a woman, she remains in shadow. Was she a prostitute, a female-divinity figure, a church leader, or all of those?

Hallmarked by bestselling author Margaret George’s dazzling mix of history and creativity, Mary, Called Magdalene is George’s most ambitious work yet. Brilliantly grounded in both biblical and secular historical research, it depicts Mary of Magdala in the first hundred years of the first millennium-even as it peels away layers of legend. Testaments, letters, and narrative convincingly capture Mary’s immediate and moving voice as she becomes part of the circle of disciples and comes to grips with the divine. Bridging the gap for readers of Antonia Fraser and fans of The Red Tent, Mary, Called Magdalene transcends both history and fiction to become a “diary of a soul.”


“Engaging and intelligent fiction that celebrates one of Christianity’s great women.” Kirkus

“Once again Margaret George proves herself to be the very best when it comes to historical fiction. Her formidable research, her brilliance as a writer and her story-telling abilities place her in a category all her own. No one can top her. She dazzles us. Her new novel is a gripping and moving story which takes the reader back to the time of Jesus and his immediate circle. And yet it is so much more than that. It is the story of an enigmatic woman and her life in those times, and it reveals not only Mary’s reason for being but her very soul. This is another pageturner from the historical writer. I couldn’t put it down, and when I had finished the book it stayed with me for a very long time. A tour de force from the incomparable Margaret George.”  Barbara Taylor Bradford

“Colorful and involving… [George] is a powerful writer.” The Washington Post

“A novel of great imagination.” San Jose Mercury News

“The premise of Ms. George’s novel is intriguing…with rigorous research, [she] paints the landscape and rituals of Judea and makes ‘educated guesses’ about her mysterious subject.” The New York Times

“An expansive, thoughtful novel.” San Francisco Chronicle