Thérèse of Lisieux died on 30 September 1897. Nine months later, the now classic Story of a Soul appeared and proved an immediate success. However, when historians had access fifty years later to manuscripts written by Thérèse they were surprised to discover enormous differences between these texts and the published version of Story of a Soul.
Jean-François Six has written this new book with two purposes. First, he recalls the history of how Mother Agnés, Prioress of the Carmelite convent and sister of Thérèse altered and completed Thérèse's text so that it became a travesty of the original. Secondly he re-establishes the truth of the last months of Thérèse's life, her authentic spiritual message, and her contribution to the history of mysticism.
In working on his book, Jean-François Six has relied on texts which can definitively be said to come from the hand of Thrérèse. In contrast to the sentimentality which is so often associated with her, he has found a powerful, lively figure, full of humor even in the depths of the spiritual night she experienced during her last months-the spiritual night which others have tried to deny or minimize.