In Trouble and in Joy

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In this book you will meet four remarkable women:

  • Margaret Baxter (1639-1681), a rebellious, glamorous teenager who ended up falling in love with, and marrying, a Puritan minister twice her age.
  • Sarah Edwards (1710-1758), whose spiritual experience during a time of revival has gone down as one of the most profound in church history.
  • Anne Steele (1717-1778), who refused several offers of marriage, preferring to maintain her independence, and who had a significant ministry writing hymns.
  • Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879), another woman who declined proposals of marriage and devoted herself to writing: her hymn ‘Take my life and let it be’ is one of the most popular of all time.

Sharon James provides biographies which hold some surprises, and a great deal of inspiration. In addition, through a selection of extracts from their writings (journal entries, resolutions, letters, poems, hymns) you too can discover first hand the heart for God that captivated these women and enabled them to live for his glory, whatever the cost.

The sections on Margaret Baxter and Anne Steele, including selections from their own writings are available here:

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Sharon James draws beautiful spiritual portraits of four women who were true Christians in the real world. I commend her book to all who love biography or history, to women’s groups, and to anyone wanting to see what godliness looks like ‘In trouble and in joy’.
Don Whitney
Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Associate Dean
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY



Alfa & Omega published an Italian translation in 2006

Additional Notes

This book was reprinted several times, but in 2015 Sharon decided against further reprints, planning in due course to write more extended stand alone biographies. Her biography of Sarah Edwards is now available