Lives of Spirit: English Carmelite Self-Writing of the Early Modern Period (The Early Modern Englishwoman, 1500-1750: Contemporary Editions)

Lives of Spirit: English Carmelite Self-Writing of the Early Modern Period (The Early Modern Englishwoman, 1500-1750: Contemporary Editions)

By: Nicky Hallett (author)Hardback

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Nicky Hallett has uncovered a major new source of material by and about English nuns living in exile in the Low Countries during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This volume presents the women's voices in unmediated form, direct in all their vibrancy, with an extensive introduction that provides historical and cultural contexts for an understanding of the Lives, their sources and their authors. Lives of Spirit draws upon several remarkable sets of papers compiled in enclosed convents between 1619 and 1794. These documents show that religious women developed an astute system of auto/biographical practice within a protean political situation, and that, even in exile and from within enclosure, they sought to shape a distinctive contribution to devotional change within a reforming church. This volume reveals how the women's Lives challenge, as well as affirm, notions of gendered spirituality, refiguring traditions of female life-writing that extend from Catherine of Siena (1347 - 80) through the work of the Carmelite reformer, Teresa of Avila (1515 - 82), into the later modern period. The newness of the material in this book allows a radical reappraisal of the self-representation of religious women and of paradigms of life-writing in, and beyond, the early modern period. This book is of significant interest to scholars interested in early modern women's writing, female spirituality, and auto/biography more widely as a genre.

About Author

Nicky Hallett is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English at the University of Sheffield, UK. She co-founded and jointly directs a Centre for Gender, Sexuality & Writing. She has written several studies about early modern female religious communities, as well as work on Chaucer, contemporary literature, self-writing and gender.


Contents: General editors' preface; General introduction; The inspiration to compose: burial in oblivion and the miraculous discovery of an incorrupt body; Anne of the Ascension, first prioress at Antwerp; Teresa of Jesus Maria, sister of Anne of the Ascension: her career and remarkable death; Margaret of St Francis: the holy simplicity of a lay sister at Antwerp and Lierre; Anne of St Bartholomew: her sight of the Infant Jesus and the remarkable discovery of her uncorrupted body; Catherine of the Blessed Sacrament: the vocation of a 'poor imperfect religious' who relished patched clothing; Anne of St Teresa: her career at various convents, her terror about an apparition and her instructions for the enclosure of a convent; Agnes of St Albert: her overwhelming sense of vocation that led her to break into the convent; Clare of the Annunciation and Delphina of St Joseph: 2 religious linked by marvellous events; Anne of St Maria and Tecla of St Paul: childhood friends in religion, one a favourite of the king; Anne of the Angels: her grand entrance and clothing; Paula of St Joseph and Alexia of St Winefrid, 2 of Anne Somerset's entourage: a sudden death whilst whitewashing and the life of a little mouse; Anne of St Bartholomew and Mary Teresa of Jesus: their entries at an advanced age; Francisca of the Blessed Sacrament: her near abduction as a child and her later seduction by witchcraft; Mary Frances of St Teresa: the instigator of the Antwerp lives, a treasure of the community, drawn to her vocation by reading; Teresa Joseph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: her father, like a jealous lover, resists her Teresian vocation; Clare Joseph of Jesus Maria: her dreams and spiritual favours; and her appearance to another religious in a vision; Mary Margaret of the Angels: her conversion from Protestantism by reading books of controversy; and her death from gangrene; Winifred of St Teresa: her miraculous recovery as a child; her life and death as a lay sister; Anne Maria Joseph of St Xaveria: the widowed sister of Catherine Burton; Mary Joseph of St Teresa: the life and death of the first compiler, who knew her vocation at a country dance and who left loving instructions for her sisters; Teresa de Jesus and Ann Joseph of the Ascension: 2 lives of mutual care; Mary Magdalen of St Joseph: her dramatic journey from Maryland, her Teresian vocation, and her cure from rheumatism; Mary Xaveria of the Angels: her mental affliction in which she fancied herself to be a priest and excommunicated the bells; Mary of St Barbara: the life of an oblate from the coffee-house; Angela Maria of St Joseph: her early life in which she almost dies of malnutrition; and her seduction to become a Carmelite after which she once drank her own urine in an act of misplaced obedience; Mary Margaret of the Angels: her journey from Maryland in which she almost falls in love with a young gentleman; her burial as the convent is threatened by imperial edict; Mary Xaveria of the Angels: her illness, miraculous cure and her spiritual favours before and after death; Mary Margaret of the Angels: the discovery of her incorrupt body and the writing of her life; Margaret of St Teresa, the first prioress at Lierre: her early sense of vocation and progress towards a religious life; her skill in resolving conflicts; her devotion to Anne of the Ascension and her death in which she is no longer wrinkled or crooked; The lives of the Mostyn family; The lives of the Bedingfield family; Mary Gertrude of the Annunciation: an impediment in her head, her early vocation and subsequent afflictions; Mary Magdalen of Jesus and Agnes Maria of St Joseph: Their double deaths and burial; Mary Terease of Jesus: her vision of her mother, all in white, on her way to Heaven; Anne Teresa of Jesus: a colonel's daughter, scrupulous in saving time when she met with her brother; mortified in sleepiness, and a lover of poverty after whose death from leprosy singing was heard; Marie Teresa of St Albert: a lay siste

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780754606758
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 315
  • ID: 9780754606758
  • weight: 553
  • ISBN10: 0754606759

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