Catalogue


Nuns behaving badly : tales of music, magic, art, and arson in the convents of Italy /
Craig A. Monson.
imprint
Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, c2010.
description
xvi, 241 p.
ISBN
0226534618 (Cloth), 9780226534619 (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, c2010.
isbn
0226534618 (Cloth)
9780226534619 (Cloth)
contents note
Dangerous enchantments: what the inquisitor found, San Lorenzo (Bologna, 1584) -- Spinsters, silkworms, and a flight in Flagrante, San Niccolo di Strozzi (Reggio Calabria, 1673) -- Perilous patronage: generosity and jealousy, Santa Maria Nuova (Bologna, 1646-80) -- Slipping through the cracks: a convent's porous walls, Santa Maria degli Angeli (Pavia, 1651-75) -- Nights at the opera: the travels and travails of Christina Cavazza, Santa Cristina della Fondazza (Bologna, 1708-35).
catalogue key
7310865
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
" Nuns Behaving Badly wears its learning with a smile, but it throws a sharp light into dark Roman Catholic corners." Economist
" Nuns Behaving Badly wears its learning with a smile, but it throws a sharp light into dark Roman Catholic corners." The Economist
" Nuns Behaving Badly wears its learning with a smile, but it throws a sharp light into dark Roman Catholic corners."
"Monson's book is a treasure hunt through the archives, uncovering hoards of gold: stories and characters from convent history, sad, bad, mad, and scandalous enough to make a novelist's mouth water."Sarah Dunant, author ofSacred Hearts: A Novel
"Monson's book is a treasure hunt through the archives, uncovering hoards of gold: stories and characters from convent history, sad, bad, mad, and scandalous enough to make a novelist's mouth water."
"Monson's book is a treasure hunt through the archives, uncovering hoards of gold: stories and characters from convent history, sad, bad, mad, and scandalous enough to make a novelist's mouth water."Sarah Dunant, author of Sacred Hearts: A Novel
"Monson . . . goes to great lengths to reimagine the past in the liveliest of terms, in scenes and dialogue pulled from the dusty envelopes of material that he poured over in the Vatican Archive. Few of the nuns who exist in that archive had a voice. Monson, at long last, makes a valiant stride toward giving them one."
"Monson is a graceful writer who frequently goes beyond historic contextualization to create a distinct atmosphere. . . . This is book is as learned as it is delightful. It should command a wide audience, from specialists in early modern Italy, religion, and gender studies, to the general reader."
"In a brilliantly packaged piece of 'nun-sploitation,' author Craig A. Monson has woven together five separate tales of convent mystery into a fascinating examination of the female religious community in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy. . . . Arsonists, escape artists, lovers, and dabblers in the occult--Monson unveils them all in this brilliant work."
"In a brilliantly packaged piece of 'nun-sploitation,' author Craig A. Monson has woven together five separate tales of convent mystery into a fascinating examination of the female religious community in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy. . . . Arsonists, escape artists, lovers, and dabblers in the occult-Monson unveils them all in this brilliant work."
"Impeccably researched and extremely accessible, Monson's book opens up a whole new world of convent and church politics in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy."
"Forget the catchy title: Craig A Monson has produced a scholarly gem, commemorating some of the feisty women lurking behind convent walls in 16th and 17th-century Italy."- Telegraph
"For centuries, more than three-quarters of upper-class women in Italy were immured in convents, willingly or not. From the Vatican Secret Archive, Craig Monson has worked like a detective to uncover the secrets of this closed world, revealing the yearnings and frustrations of women who were 'dead to the world.' This beautifully written, gripping book tells the stories of nuns who sought escape. Some just sang forbidden polyphony, one slipped out in disguise to catch the latest opera, and an entire convent burned down their cloister so they could all go home."Edward Muir, Northwestern University
"Forget the catchy title: Craig A Monson has produced a scholarly gem, commemorating some of the feisty women lurking behind convent walls in 16th and 17th-century Italy."
"Fantastic stories of arson, magic, and nights at the operaMonson presents a veritableCanterbury Talesdetailing convent life in early modern Italy as seen through the adventures of unruly nuns. But unlike Chaucer's classic work, all of these stories are true. Meticulously researched and carefully crafted, this book is a brilliant tour de force in its erudition. At the same time, it is a riveting page-turner that will interest scholars and general readers alike and also serve as an important resource for courses in gender studies, history, and music."Jane A. Bernstein, Tufts University
"For centuries, more than three-quarters of upper-class women in Italy were immured in convents, willingly or not. From the Vatican Secret Archive, Craig Monson has worked like a detective to uncover the secrets of this closed world, revealing the yearnings and frustrations of women who were 'dead to the world.' This beautifully written, gripping book tells the stories of nuns who sought escape. Some just sang forbidden polyphony, one slipped out in disguise to catch the latest opera, and an entire convent burned down their cloister so they could all go home."
"Fantastic stories of arson, magic, and nights at the operaMonson presents a veritable Canterbury Tales detailing convent life in early modern Italy as seen through the adventures of unruly nuns. But unlike Chaucer's classic work, all of these stories are true. Meticulously researched and carefully crafted, this book is a brilliant tour de force in its erudition. At the same time, it is a riveting page-turner that will interest scholars and general readers alike and also serve as an important resource for courses in gender studies, history, and music."Jane A. Bernstein, Tufts University
"Fantastic stories of arson, magic, and nights at the operaMonson presents a veritable Canterbury Tales detailing convent life in early modern Italy as seen through the adventures of unruly nuns. But unlike Chaucer's classic work, all of these stories are true. Meticulously researched and carefully crafted, this book is a brilliant tour de force in its erudition. At the same time, it is a riveting page-turner that will interest scholars and general readers alike and also serve as an important resource for courses in gender studies, history, and music."
"Drawn from proceedings before the papal Congregation of Bishops and Regulars held in the Vatican Archive, the five true stories Craig Monson tells reveal much about the constrictions of convent life in Italy from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries. As the subtitle makes clear, these are not titillating tales of sexual peccadilloes but accounts of nuns attempting in various ways to challenge the oppressive regimen imposed by their masculine superiors. Written in vivid informal prose by a seasoned researcher who knows his subject intimately, this masterpiece will amuse and inform a wide range of readers both within and beyond academic circles."Anne Jacobson Schutte, University of Virginia
“Don’t miss ‘Spinsters, Silkworms, and a Flight in Flagrante,’ or any of the other lurid tales. Beautifully produced, exquisitely designed, mint copies of this are likely to become collectors’ items. Copies signed by the author, even better.”-Laurence Vittes, The Huffington Post
"Don't miss 'Spinsters, Silkworms, and a Flight in Flagrante,' or any of the other lurid tales. Beautifully produced, exquisitely designed, mint copies of this are likely to become collectors' items. Copies signed by the author, even better."-Laurence Vittes, The Huffington Post
"Don't miss 'Spinsters, Silkworms, and a Flight in Flagrante,' or any of the other lurid tales. Beautifully produced, exquisitely designed, mint copies of this are likely to become collectors' items. Copies signed by the author, even better."Laurence Vittes, The Huffington Post
"Don't miss 'Spinsters, Silkworms, and a Flight in Flagrante,' or any of the other lurid tales. Beautifully produced, exquisitely designed, mint copies of this are likely to become collectors' items. Copies signed by the author, even better."
"[A] rollicking good read."
"[A] rollicking good read."- Parergon
"A very original take on remarkable material. Monson's thorough and impeccable research into convents of Bologna yielded many cases of imaginative insubordination, and he tells the stories with evident surprise and amusement, imposing a light touch on subjects that were in their historical period and setting quite serious. Cleverly written."
"A very original take on remarkable material. Monson's thorough and impeccable research into convents of Bologna yielded many cases of imaginative insubordination, and he tells the stories with evident surprise and amusement, imposing a light touch on subjects that were in their historical period and setting quite serious. Cleverly written."Elissa B. Weaver, University of Chicago
"All of the stories are engaging, and all triggered crises that might have disrupted convent life for generations. . . . If readers discover that they have purchased something quite richer in texture and historical content than the mildly humorous exposé of naughty nuns that they might have been expecting, so much the better."
"All of the stories are engaging, and all triggered crises that might have disrupted convent life for generations. . . . If readers discover that they have purchased something quite richer in texture and historical content than the mildly humorous expos of naughty nuns that they might have been expecting, so much the better."
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Summaries
Main Description
Witchcraft. Arson. Going AWOL. Somenuns in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy strayed far from the paradigms of monastic life. Cloistered in convents, subjected to stifling hierarchy, repressed, and occasionally persecuted by their male superiors, these women circumvented authority in sometimes extraordinary ways. But tales of their transgressions have long been buried in the Vatican Secret Archive. That is, until now. InNuns Behaving Badly, Craig A. Monson resurrects forgotten tales and restores to life the long-silent voices of these cloistered heroines. Here we meet nuns who dared speak out about physical assault and sexual impropriety (some real, some imagined). Others were only guilty of misjudgment or defacing valuable artwork that offended their sensibilities. But what unites the women and their stories is the challenges they faced: these were women trying to find their way within the Catholicism of their day and through the strict limits it imposed on them. Monson introduces us to women who were occasionally desperate to flee cloistered life, as when an entire community conspired to torch their convent and be set free. But more often, he shows us nuns just trying to live their lives. When they were crossedby powerful priests who claimed to know what was best for thembad behavior could escalate from mere troublemaking to open confrontation. In resurrecting these long-forgotten tales and trials, Monson also draws attention to the predicament of modern religious women, whose "misbehavior"seeking ordination as priests or refusing to give up their endowments to pay for priestly wrongdoing in their own archdiocesescontinues even today. The nuns of early modern Italy, Monson shows, set the standard for religious transgression in their own ageand beyond.
Main Description
Witchcraft. Arson. Going AWOL. Somenuns in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy strayed far from the paradigms of monastic life. Cloistered in convents, subjected to stifling hierarchy, repressed, and occasionally persecuted by their male superiors, these women circumvented authority in sometimes extraordinary ways. But tales of their transgressions have long been buried in the Vatican Secret Archive. That is, until now. In Nuns Behaving Badly , Craig A. Monson resurrects forgotten tales and restores to life the long-silent voices of these cloistered heroines. Here we meet nuns who dared speak out about physical assault and sexual impropriety (some real, some imagined). Others were only guilty of misjudgment or defacing valuable artwork that offended their sensibilities. But what unites the women and their stories is the challenges they faced: these were women trying to find their way within the Catholicism of their day and through the strict limits it imposed on them. Monson introduces us to women who were occasionally desperate to flee cloistered life, as when an entire community conspired to torch their convent and be set free. But more often, he shows us nuns just trying to live their lives. When they were crossedby powerful priests who claimed to know what was best for thembad behavior could escalate from mere troublemaking to open confrontation. In resurrecting these long-forgotten tales and trials, Monson also draws attention to the predicament of modern religious women, whose "misbehavior"seeking ordination as priests or refusing to give up their endowments to pay for priestly wrongdoing in their own archdiocesescontinues even today. The nuns of early modern Italy, Monson shows, set the standard for religious transgression in their own ageand beyond.
Main Description
Witchcraft. Arson. Going AWOL. Some nuns in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy strayed far from the paradigms of monastic life. Cloistered in convents, subjected to stifling hierarchy, repressed, and occasionally persecuted by their male superiors, these women circumvented authority in sometimes extraordinary ways. But tales of their transgressions have long been buried in the Vatican Secret Archive. That is, until now. In Nuns Behaving Badly , Craig A. Monson resurrects forgotten tales and restores to life the long-silent voices of these cloistered heroines. Here we meet nuns who dared speak out about physical assault and sexual impropriety (some real, some imagined). Others were only guilty of misjudgment or defacing valuable artwork that offended their sensibilities. But what unites the women and their stories is the challenges they faced: these were women trying to find their way within the Catholicism of their day and through the strict limits it imposed on them. Monson introduces us to women who were occasionally desperate to flee cloistered life, as when an entire community conspired to torch their convent and be set free. But more often, he shows us nuns just trying to live their lives. When they were crossedby powerful priests who claimed to know what was best for thembad behavior could escalate from mere troublemaking to open confrontation. In resurrecting these long-forgotten tales and trials, Monson also draws attention to the predicament of modern religious women, whose "misbehavior"seeking ordination as priests or refusing to give up their endowments to pay for priestly wrongdoing in their own archdiocesescontinues even today. The nuns of early modern Italy, Monson shows, set the standard for religious transgression in their own ageand beyond.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Resurrecting long forgotten tales & trials from the 16th & 17th centuries, Craig Monson illuminates the extraordinary lives of Catholic nuns: cloistered, stifled by hierarchy, repressed & occasionally persecuted by male superiors, nuns challenged & circumvented authority in sometimes surprising ways.
Table of Contents
List of Figuresp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
List of Abbreviationsp. xi
Dramatis Personaep. xiii
Prologuep. 1
Dangerous Enchantments: What the Inquisitor Foundp. 25
Spinsters, Silkworms, and a Flight In Flagrantep. 63
Perilous Patronage: Generosity and Jealousyp. 95
Slipping through the Cracks: A Convent's Porous Wallsp. 125
Nights at the Opera: The Travels and Travails of Christina Cavazzap. 153
Epiloguep. 197
Notesp. 207
Further Readingp. 229
Indexp. 231
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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