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Plural Wife
Edited by Martha Bradley-Evans
6x9, 200 pages

Published: 2012

ISBN 978-0-87421-874-9
cloth $36.95

ISBN 978-0-87421-875-6
e-book $27.95

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Martha Bradley-Evans
is associate vice president for academic affairs at the University of Utah, professor in the college of architecture and planning, and an award-winning teacher of history and theory. She is vice chair of the Utah State Board of History and chair of the Utah Heritage Foundation.

Her most recent work on spatial religious communities maps the distinctive patterns, meanings and practices of communal religious groups such as the Branch Davidians, the FLDS, and the Family or the Children of God as they imagine and construct spatial worlds.

Plural Wife

The Life Story of Mabel Finlayson Allred

Edited by Martha Bradley-Evans

Volume 13 in the series Life Writings of Frontier Women. Mabel Finlayson Allred was a wife of Rulon Allred, leader of the Apostolic United Brethren, one of the major groups of fundamentalist Mormons who, since about the 1930s, have practiced plural marriage as separatists from the mainstream Latter-day Saints Church. 

Mabel’s autobiography maintains a mood of everyday normalcy strikingly in contrast with the stress of the ostracized life she was living. Her cheerful tone, expressive of her wish to live simply and gracefully in this world, is tempered by more somber descriptions of her personal struggle with clinical depression, of Rulon Allred’s inner struggles, of tensions with the law and with Allred’s fundamentalist colleagues, and ultimately by her forthright account of his assassination in 1977.

Emerging from this unique narrative is the portrait of a woman buoyed by faith in both her religion and her husband, a window into the interior life of a woman seeking a resilient simplicity in an uncommonly challenging life.

Plural Wife, conntextualized by Martha Bradley-Evans’s introduction, gives us insight into Mabel’s experience of history during an important period of the 20th century and advances our understanding of life ways of 20th century polygamy and the growth of the fundamentalist movement.

Book Review Utah Historical Quarterly (Volume 81, Number 1, 2013) pg. 102 / Reviewed by Colleen Whitley

Book Review The Association for Mormon Letters August 15, 2012 / Reviewed by Kris Wray

Book Review Denver Post September 2, 2012 / by Sandra Dallas