Lives of Spirit

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Yielding a wealth of new material concerning the lives of English nuns in exile in the Low Countries between 1619 and 1794, this volume of religious women's Lives is based on previously unpublished manuscripts. An extensive introduction provides historical and cultural contexts for an understanding of the Lives, and a reappraisal of the self-representation of religious women and of paradigms of life-writing in, and beyond, the early modern period.

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 oflife-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.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

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 Handing out Sugar-plums, 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: Two 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, two 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 lves, 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: Two 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 Sister of Extraordinary Strength, a Lover of Solitude who Sat in the Trees
Teresa Maria of Jesus, Mary of St Joseph and Elizabeth Ursula of the Visitation: Three Religious of Extraordinary Humility - Who Ate Scraps, were Sparing in their Use of Candle and Pen, and who did Servants' Work
Anne Therese of the Presentation, Anna Maria of St Joseph and Joseph Teresa of the Purification: Three Lay Sisters who Learned the English Manner of Cooking
Mary Rose of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: her dramatic journey from Maryland and Her Death, after which She Continued to Sweat
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