Fire and Roses: The Burning of the Charlestown Convent, 1834 / Edition 1

Fire and Roses: The Burning of the Charlestown Convent, 1834 / Edition 1

by Nancy Lusignan Schultz
     
 

ISBN-10: 1555535143

ISBN-13: 9781555535148

Pub. Date: 04/11/2002

Publisher: Northeastern University Press

In the midst of a deadly heat wave during the summer of 1834, a woman clawed her way over the wall of an Ursuline convent on Mount Benedict in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and escaped to the home of a neighbor, pleading for protection. When the bishop, Benedict Fenwick, persuaded her to return, vicious gossip began swirling through the Yankee community and in the press…  See more details below

Overview

In the midst of a deadly heat wave during the summer of 1834, a woman clawed her way over the wall of an Ursuline convent on Mount Benedict in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and escaped to the home of a neighbor, pleading for protection. When the bishop, Benedict Fenwick, persuaded her to return, vicious gossip began swirling through the Yankee community and in the press that she was being held at the convent against her will, and had even been murdered. The rumored fate of the "Mysterious Lady," as she became popularly known, ultimately led to the burning of the convent by an angry, drunken mob of Protestant men. The arsonists' ringleader, a brawny bricklayer named John Buzzell, became a folk hero. The nuns scattered, and their proud and feisty mother superior, Mary Anne Moffatt, who battled the working-class rioters and Church authorities, faded mysteriously into history.

Nancy Lusignan Schultz brings alive this forgotten event, focusing her probing lens on a time when independent, educated women were feared as much as immigrants and Catholics, and anti-Papist diatribes were the stuff of bestsellers and standing-room-only lectures. She provides a glimpse into nineteenth-century Boston and into an elite boarding school for young women, mostly the daughters of wealthy Protestants, vividly dissecting the period's roiling tensions over class, gender, religion, ethnicity, and education.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555535148
Publisher:
Northeastern University Press
Publication date:
04/11/2002
Edition description:
1ST PBK
Pages:
317
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Principal CharactersIX
Prologue1
Chapter 1The Seed Is Planted3
Chapter 2Mount Benedict Blooms: Convent Secrets and the Early Years37
Chapter 3Charlestown in Full Flower: Education and Convent Life69
Chapter 4A Deadly Miasma: Cemeteries, Cholera, and Catholicism107
Chapter 5The Vine Uprooted: 1834: A Year of Heartbreaks147
Chapter 6The Lost Garden: Indictments and Trial191
Chapter 7The Ashes Scatter231
Epilogue269
AppendixPartial List of Students279
Notes281
Acknowledgments305
Illustration Credits309
Index311

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