Janet Miriam Holland Taylor Caldwell (September 7, 1900 – August 30, 1985) was an Anglo-American novelist and prolific author of popular fiction, also known by the pen names Marcus Holland and Max Reiner, and by her married name of J. Miriam Reback. In her fiction, she often used real historical events or persons.
The first Caldwell I read was when I was 14, it was The Great Lion of God, a fictionalized version of the Apostle Paul. A little racy for a 14 year old in the 70s but it had the word "God" in the title so no one thought to censor it on my behalf! I was hooked and read as many as I could get my hands on. I do remember the librarian asking if my mom would approve of me reading A Prologue to Love. I told her it was for my mom, then went home and couldn't put it down. The Listener and Captain and the Kings are my two favorites. The Listener is a short book, each chapter telling the tale of a different person who desperately needs someone to listen to them. They all find their way to a building which was erected just for the purpose of refuge to talk to the man behind the curtain who listens to the suffering and stories of people day and night. The Captain and the Kings seems to be drawn from the lives of the Kennedys, Rockefellers, and perhaps even Howard Hughes. It's epic and grand and delicious!
A few years ago I read, The Search For A Soul: Taylor Caldwell's Psychic Lives. A fascinating journey into her "past lives" as she recalls them under hypnosis. Reincarnation, some think, is why she wrote her historical works with such vivid and accurate detail. The argument of course would be, having a rich and remarkable imagination, along with much research for novels, might make one invent past lived under hypnosis. Wherever you stand on the reincarnation theory, it is a really interesting read!