The abridged editions of Story of a Soul

The abridged editions of Story of a Soul

Very early on, the first readers asked for an abridged edition of the big Story of a Soul and notably the influential Fr. Domin, chaplain of the Benedictine Abbey and the catechism teacher of Thérèse, who wrote in December 1898:

“Would you also permit me to express the wish to soon see a less expensive edition available and at the same time a less complicated distribution? May girls with modest savings-and you know those are many-be able to not only read this volume quickly as is done with a borrowed book, but to put it in their library to reread at their leisure, meditate upon it, consult it, even lend it to friends, who if less pious, will not be able to resist reading the book after only looking at a few pages…Thérèse eminently possesses everything needed to instruct, to please and to touch as the ancients said, and as a consequence bring a great many souls to virtue. My reverend Mother, give us soon an inexpensive edition that we might disseminate this book as it deserves. Don’t doubt that this would enter into our holy Child’s wishes, who still wants more than ever, to do good on earth.”

Fr. Domin would be heard: the Carmelites would attempt to turn toward a paperback and would truly succeed.


1902 An unpetalled rose

 An unpetalled rose is the first “abridged” edition, 5000 copies, 16 x 11 cm, came out in 1902. With its 288 pages, the book contained the 12 chapters of Story of a Soul, the poem 'An unpetalled Rose' and the Act of offering. It would be continually enhanced over the course of 40 other editions, totaling close to 650,000 copies until 1949. It would be available simultaneously in the sizes of 16 x 11, 20 x 13 and 23.5 x 16 cm.

1904 The call to little souls

 The call of little souls is the first truly “light” edition, with its 32 pages of carefully chosen excerpts from Story of a Soul. The first edition in1904 had a printing of 14,000 copies. Published in sizes 16 x 10 cm or 15 x 13 cm, its 24 editions had more than 900,000 copies, with moving titles such as The call to little souls, The call to divine love, or with a secondary title The abridged life of Sr. Thérèse of the Child Jesus.


1913 Sr Thérèse of the Child Jesusbio TH eng lt

Thérèse of the Child Jesus: Her life-since her death. This “abridged life” of 62 pages came out in 1913. The first half of the booklet contains the life of Thérèse, then her graces and various favors “since her death”. Appeared in various formats but always very small (12 x 8 cm,13 x 9, 13 x 5, 15 x 10 cm). By 1959, 2 million copies would be printed. It was notably a best seller of the trenches during WWI.

Little way cover lt1919 The Little Way                                                                      

Read here The Little way * in color

“Mystical ascent of the Mountain of Perfection by the way of love and spiritual childhood of Thérèse of the Child Jesus.” This is the title on the first page. There are 31 poems accompanied by 31 allegorical pictures. The poems are sung with 3 different melodies with the scores given as a supplement. Appearing in format 16 x 12 cm, then 18 x 13 cm, this book would be reprinted until 1950, totaling 136,000 copies of which 15,000 were in color.



1921 The little way

of spiritual childhood

 The little way of spiritual childhood followed by Thérèse of the Child Jesus. Under this title we find the exact content of “The little way”, in a deluxe color edition, 18 x 13 cm. But beginning in1921, the text was in prose in a very tiny booklet of 16 pages in the format 13 x 9 cm. There would be 11 editions until 1954 with 287,500 copies.

1Life in pictures lt923 The life in pictures of

Therese of the Child Jesus                            

Read here the Life in pictures

The life in pictures, little edition, illustrated with a biography of Thérèse with double-page spread: on one side an episode of Thérèse’s life in verse and a full page illustration on the other side. The booklet was published starting in 1923 in formats 15 x 12 cm, then 20 x 13 cm and 19 x 14 cm. With editions that followed until 1955, the book was enhanced with new illustrations and had a total of 177,888 copies.


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