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Evelyn Underhill

1875-1941. English mystic. Daughter of a distinguished London barrister, she was educated at King's College, London, of which she was later made fellow. She was reared an Anglican, and her spiritual life began in 1907 while visiting a Franciscan convent. She professed conversion in 1911 with leanings toward the Roman Church. Mysticism, her first book, appeared that year, followed by The Mystic Way in 1913. Friedrich Von Hügel* was the divide in her life, and she was under his close direction for four years until he died in 1925-experiencing Christianity most personally and making a commitment to the Church of England. From 1911 her life was religious work: personal cases, social work, addresses, retreats, and books. Two volumes (The Spiral Way and The Path of the Eternal Wisdom) she published under the pseudonym “John Cordelier.” She produced critical editions and translations of Ruysbroeck, Hilton, and other mystics and contributed to periodicals. Practical Mysticism (1915) and The Essentials of Mysticism (1920) were guidebooks. Her great work was Worship (1937) which includes the Orthodox Churches and their liturgy.