Plural Wife

The Life Story of Mabel Finlayson Allred

edited by Martha Bradley-Evans

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Life Writings of Frontier Women, Volume 13, edited by Maureen Ursenbach Beecher

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, contextualized by Martha Bradley-Evans’s introduction, gives us insight into Mabel’s experience of history during an important period of the twentieth century and advances our understanding of twentieth-century polygamy and the growth of the fundamentalist movement.



Denver Post, 2012


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.

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  • Ebook Price: $28.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $5.99
  • EISBN: 978-0-87421-875-6
  • Publication Year: 2012
  • Pages: 200
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: edited by Martha Bradley-Evans
  • ECommerce Code: 978-0-87421-874-9
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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