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Teresa of Avila: An Extraordinary Life

Overview

This intelligent, balanced portrait of an irreverent, intense, and fiery Renaissance woman and her times includes moving excerpts from her letters and sublime spiritual writings. Her unconventional, progressive views on prayer and worship, her outstanding administrative and literary talents, her travels around Spain to found and supervise convents, and how she spent much of her life under the scrutiny of the Inquisition are all detailed.

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Overview

This intelligent, balanced portrait of an irreverent, intense, and fiery Renaissance woman and her times includes moving excerpts from her letters and sublime spiritual writings. Her unconventional, progressive views on prayer and worship, her outstanding administrative and literary talents, her travels around Spain to found and supervise convents, and how she spent much of her life under the scrutiny of the Inquisition are all detailed.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A clear, reliable account of Teresa’s remarkable life." —The Times Literary Supplement

"Accessible to readers of all backgrounds. The real Teresa comes palpably near in these pages." —Ursula King, author, Christian Mystics

"One leaves this book with a deep appreciation of who Teresa was. . . . A delightful read." —Keith J. Egan, author, Carmelite Prayer

"Bringing her background in psychology to the book, du Boulay fully captures the inner Teresa for the modern reader." —Library Journal

Times Literary Supplement
A clear, reliable account of Teresa’s remarkable life.
Publishers Weekly
Admired for her ardent devotion to God and her passionate mysticism, Teresa of Avila continues to fascinate and to inspire spiritual seekers. Surrounded by sickness and death as a young girl in Avila, Teresa developed a sense of life's fragility and a deep wonder about the afterlife. By the time she was 15, she had entered the convent and eventually would rise to her spiritual fame as the founder of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites, where she began a lifelong working relationship with the man who became known as John of the Cross. Using excerpts from Teresa's letters and other writings, du Boulay traces the development of Teresa's spiritual life, culminating in her now classic spiritual guides The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle. As complete as du Boulay's study is, the contours and details of Teresa's life are well known and have already been explored expertly by Cathleen Medwick in her Teresa of Avila: The Shape of a Soul. Du Boulay's often repetitious and workmanlike biography contributes no new insights to our knowledge of this famous saint's life and work. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Spanish saint and mystic Teresa of Avila (1515-82) continues to inspire publications: over 50 books and theses on her have appeared in English since 2000. British author du Boulay has long covered religious and spiritual topics as a writer and producer for the BBC and has written biographies on such contemporaries as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Benedictine mystic Bede Griffiths. In this revised biography, originally published in London in 1991, du Boulay retells Teresa's captivating story as derived from her extensive writings and the work of both contemporaries and later scholars. Canonized in 1622 and declared the first woman doctor of the church by the Vatican in 1970, Teresa appears as practical, wise, humble, and human as ever. Her efforts to reform the Carmelite Order (men and women), many journeys to found convents throughout Spain, confrontation of challenges from churchmen and nobility alike (not to mention the Divine), and opposition from within her own communities, sound strangely contemporary. Bringing her background in psychology to the book, du Boulay fully captures the inner Teresa for the modern reader. Recommended for general public and academic collections. [BlueBridge, a new publisher based in New York, specializes in spirituality, history, and biography. This is one of its three inaugural titles released this fall.-Ed.]-Anna M. Donnelly, St. John's Univ. Lib., NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780974240527
  • Publisher: BlueBridge
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 427,356
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author


Shirley du Boulay is the author of Beyond Darkness and The Road to Canterbury. She worked as a radio and TV producer covering religious and spiritual topics for the BBC.
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Table of Contents

Teresa's Bookmark ix
Foundations by Teresa of Avila x
Map of Spain Showing Foundations xi
1. Castilian Childhood 1
2. The Convent of the Incarnation 15
3. "That Stormy Sea" 34
4. "Another and a New Life" 45
5. Delectable Torments 59
6. St. Joseph's--Secret Preparations 75
7. St. Joseph's--Victory 93
8. "The Most Restful Years of My Life" 102
9. "Restless Gad-about" 119
10. "A Friar and a Half" 136
11. Toledo and Pastrana 147
12. Salamanca and Alba 158
13. Reluctant Prioress 173
14. Gracian 186
15. Andalusia 199
16. Persecution 210
17. "In My Father's House" 222
18. Back on the Road 236
19. The Last Foundation 247
20. The Joy of God 256
Epilogue 266
Chronology 271
Notes 275
Selected Bibliography 282
Acknowledgments 285
Index 286
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2008

    I loved this book!!

    The author did a superb job writing this book and I look forward to reading more about Teresa. I cant fathom traveling the country when their were no roads or living in the conditions her and the others did. To sit next to God, commune with Him and be taken by Him is the ultimate experience.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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