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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: January ::
Who Got to a Nunnery?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0155  Wednesday, 26 January 2005

[1]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Jan 2005 09:12:55 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0140 Who Got to a Nunnery?

[2]     From:   Natalie Bennett <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 26 Jan 2005 02:35:36 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0140 Who Got to a Nunnery?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Tuesday, 25 Jan 2005 09:12:55 -0600
Subject: 16.0140 Who Got to a Nunnery?
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0140 Who Got to a Nunnery?

The first part of Todd Pettigrew's question still interests me (how
often did early modern women get sent off to nunneries?). This, as Peter
Bridgman points out, ceased to be an issue in England when the nunneries
ceased to exist during HVIII's reign, though they had been a convenient
place to stash disobedient daughters, inconvenient ex-queens and the
like. But the idea of compelled enrollment in a convent remained alive
as a myth for several centuries, along with the dismal punishments
recalcitrant girls might receive for rebelling against unwanted
discipline and isolation.

To re-state my interest:

Does anyone know what percentage of women who joined nunneries up
through, say, 1800 were compelled to do so by their families -- even as
a guess?

Has anyone studied the mythology of compulsory enrollment, its
appearance in romantic literature, and its relationship to anti-Catholic
(in Protestant areas) and anti-clerical (in Catholic ones) attitudes?

Cheers,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Natalie Bennett <
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Date:           Wednesday, 26 Jan 2005 02:35:36 +0000
Subject: 16.0140 Who Got to a Nunnery?
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0140 Who Got to a Nunnery?

And there would, I suspect, have been considerable hostility to the
concept, in line with general anti-clericalism. Certainly a bit later,
when Mary Astell suggested, in _A Serious Proposal to the Ladies_
(1694/97) a secular retreat for women in which they could, without the
presence of men, teach, study and live, it attracted considerable
hostility as a "papist" idea.

Natalie Bennett
London
http://philobiblion.blogspot.com

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