Contents: Introduction. 1. Madeleine Slade Comes to Gandhi. 2. Worker or Disciple? 3. A ‘Catch-22’ Relationship. 4. Civil Disobedience and Prison. 5. Freedom and Europe. 6. A New Ashram and New Problems. 7. The Growing Distance. 8. The Final Years. References.
The current volume offers readers unprecedented insight into the relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and Mirabehn, his foremost Western woman disciple, who came to India to dedicate her life to Gandhi and and remained his faithful companion for twenty-three years.
Gandhi and Mira corresponded extensively when they were not together. The current volume brings together this correspondence in its entirety for the first time, interweaving Gandhi’s letters to Mira with her own responses to him and putting them in conversation with each other.
The letters are arranged chronologically, which allows readers to understand the trajectory of Gandhi and Mira’s relationship. They reveal the depth and complexity of this connection, which was as close and loving as it was troubled.
The letters also provide glimpses of Gandhi and Mira’s work in the khadi industry and in village India, their views on ashram life and people, their struggles with health and diet, and their opinions on living a good life and serving truth.
The original letters reproduced here are accompanied by the editors’ commentary, which contextualizes the correspondence and offers readers important historical and biographical background information.
This book will interest not only historians, students and scholars of Gandhi but also the lay reader.