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Agafya update

Familiar to these blog pages is the Siberian hermit Agafya Lykova, now 73, a life-long hermit and last of her familiar of Old Believers, who fled to Siberia in 1936. Several media sources now report that the regional Russian governor has banned helicopter flights of food, supplies, and potential evacuation for medical treatment for Agafya in an effort to force her to return to civilization.


Joe Root, Pennsylvania hermit

An article in the Ellwood City Ledger, Pennsylvania, presents a representative local history item on a local hermit named Joe Root: “Joe Root a late 1800s to 1915 woodland hermit of sort lived in may wooden shacks on Presque Isle.” The article offers an anecdotal account plus a few photos.


Amos Wilson, Pennsylvania hermit

The article “The Pennsylvania Hermit: The Woeful Tale of a Grieving Brother’s Broken-hearted Hermitage,” in Ancient Origins, retells the story of Amos Wilson, who abandoned society in 19th-century Pennsylvania upon the execution of his sister for alleged murder of her infant out of wedlock. Wilson had gained the state governor’s pardon for her but arrived too late to save her. Both brother and sister are said to haunt the grounds where they resided.

See an early blog entry on Wison’s reported essay, Sweets of Solitude, here:


Guilhot update

Jean Guilhot, the Biloxi hermit of Deer Island (1877-1959), has been cited in this blog. His reputation as a benign and mysterious hermit in Biloxi, Mississippi (USA) is now found to involve a past of crime and politics, as revealed by E. Suarez of the Biloxi Local History and Genealogy Dept.


Dario Escobar update

The Colombian-born hermit-monk Dario Escobar, who resides in the Qaddisha Vally in Lebanon, has been profiled in this blog before; here he is profiled in National Geographic Australia. Escobar is now 83 years of age.


Disappointing hermits

Guardian article with a twist on the idea of hermits as wise sages. Titled “This reclusive life: what I learned about solitude from my time with hermits.” Byline: “When the chaos of the big city began to drag, Paul Willis wondered if solitude might be the answer. Would his encounters with hermits yield what he wanted?”

The author is disillusioned with visits to two hermits in Arizona and New Mexico respectively. He concludes:

Among the Apophthegmata is a saying by an unknown hermit: “It is better to live among the crowd and keep a solitary life in your spirit than to live alone with your heart in the crowd.”

In other words, if you go into solitude to get away from something, your troubles will probably follow you.