Imagining Women's Conventual Spaces in France, 1600–1800: by Barbara R. Woshinsky

By Barbara R. Woshinsky

mixing heritage and structure with literary research, this ground-breaking examine explores the convent's position within the early glossy mind's eye. the writer brackets her account among pivotal occasions: the Council of Trent enforcing strict enclosure on cloistered nuns, and the French Revolution expelling them from their cloisters centuries later. at the moment, girls inside of convent partitions have been either captives and refugees from an outdoor global ruled through patriarchal strength and discourses. but regardless of locks and bars, the cloister remained "porous" to privileged viewers. Others might seize a glimpse of veiled nuns in the course of the complicated grills setting apart cloistered house from the church, scary imaginitive debts of convent lifestyles. now not unusually, the determine of the restricted spiritual lady represents an intensified item of hope in male-authored narrative. The convent additionally spurred "feminutopian" discourses composed by way of ladies: convents develop into secure homes for these fleeing undesirable marriages or attempting to build a terrific, pastoral lifestyles, as a counter version to the male-dominated court docket or loved ones. contemporary feedback has pointed out yes privileged areas that early glossy girls made their very own: the ruelle, the salon, the fireplace of fairy tale-telling. Woshinsky's publication definitively provides the convent to this list.

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