A Convent Tale: A Century of Sisterhood in Spanish Milan (Hardback)
  • A Convent Tale: A Century of Sisterhood in Spanish Milan (Hardback)
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A Convent Tale: A Century of Sisterhood in Spanish Milan (Hardback)

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£31.99
Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 07/11/2002
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Power often operates in strange and surprising ways. With A Convent Tale, Renee Baernstein uncovers some of the nuanced methods cloistered women devised to exert their agency. In the tradition of Simon Schama and Steven Ozment, Baernstein uses the compelling story of a single clan, the Sfondrati, to refashion our understanding of the early modern period. Showing the nuns as neither helpless victims nor valiant rebels, but reasonable beings maneuvering as best they could within limits set by class, gender and culture. Baernstein writes against the tendency to depict women as inactive pawns, and shows that even within the convent walls, nuns were empowered by ties with their (often earthly) families and actively involved in the politics of the period. Both a major contribution to scholarship on gender, family and religion in early modern Europe, and a colorful well-told tale of Renaissance intrigue, A Convent Tale is sure to attract a wide range of academic and general readers.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
ISBN: 9780415927178
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Recounting the turbulent history of the Angelic convent of San Paolo, "A Convent Tale is boldly revisionist and a major contribution to Counter-reformation history. Richly documented, and written with passion and verve, this important book is a must-read for students of the church, Italy, and women.."
-Richard L. Kagan, author of "Lucrecia's Dreams
"Founded as an experimental community of active, missionary women, Milan's Angelic convent eventually became something strikingly different--a cloistered bastion of gendered reform. Full of strong characters, "A Convent Tale is a beautifully written book about this complex transformation.."
-Kathryn Burns, author of "Colonial Habits
"A vivid and fascinating story of a tumultuous century, a Catholic society, a contentious religious order, and an ambitious family dynasty, A Convent Tale is an exemplary history of religion and society in early modern Europe."
-R Po-chia Hsia, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History, Pennsylvania State University
"This book by P. Renee Baernstein tells the tale of the convent's constant reimagining of itself between 1535 and 1635 in response to ever-changing external and internal circumstances, in such a way that its many transformations seem natural rather than forced.."
-Katie Lowe, Goldsmiths' College, University of London
"This book is essential for all historians of early modern catholic reform."
-Ann W. Ramsey, "Renaissance Quarterly

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