Veil of Fear: Nineteenth-Century Convent Talesby Maria Monk, Rebecca Reed, Nancy Lusignan Schultz
Pub. Date: 09/28/1999
Publisher: Purdue University Press
Rebecca Reed and Maria Monk may not be well-known authors today, but these women were publishing sensations in nineteenth-century America. Their lurid tales of life in two North American convents, one in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and the other in Montreal, Canada, sold more than one-half million copies. Reed escaped from the Ursuline convent in Charlestown in 1832. Her dramatic renditions of Roman Catholic ritual practice helped spark a night of violence that resulted in the convent being burned to the ground by an angry mob. Reed's published narrative, Six Months in a Convent, appeared just as the trials of the rioters were ending in 1835, and became an instant literary success. Monk's supporters capitalized on the lucrative market in anti-Catholic literature, by bringing out the pseudo-pornographic Awful Disclosures of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery in 1836. Monk, who claimed her infant daughter had been fathered by a Catholic priest, was in fact a Montreal prostitute rather than a nun. She enjoyed the life of a literary star in New York before her hoax was uncovered. These two narratives are now available for the first time in a single paperback edition. Nancy Lusignan Schultz's introduction provides a fascinating glimpse into the history, development, and marketing of these phenomenal best-sellers. The convent tales by Reed and Monk are classics that must be read by those interested in American studies, popular culture, social and religious history, literature, and women's studies.
- Purdue University Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Short and simple, this is nothing more than a semi-lurid collection of all your favorite 'hate the Catholic' stories. Every clechied horror story of anti-Catholic bigotry is put to good use. Required reading for every KKK member. All those with an IQ higher than 12, be fore-warned.