REVIEW by Carol Taaffe

NWR Issue 107

The Girl Who Lived on Air: The Mystery of Sarah Jacob, The Welsh Fasting Girl

by Stephen Wade

In 1869, Sarah Jacob was a sensation. A twelve-year-old girl in rural Carmarthenshire had attracted international fame by surviving for two years without food or drink. She might have been a miracle, a fasting saint. But she was not. After just a few days under strict observation by a team of nurses, she starved to death. There is no mystery in the death of Sarah Jacob. The true mystery is in the actions of the adults around her. In the months before her death, the child’s sickbed had become a battleground for the competing claims of folk cures and modern medicine, religious miracle and science. And it is these conflicts that dominate The Girl Who Lived on Air, Stephen Wade’s new account of the infamous case...

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