"NO OTHER MEANS THAN BY PEN”: LETTERS FROM EARLY MODERN ENGLISH NUNS IN EXILE

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Creator: 

Sharp, Tanyss Anne

Date: 

2020

Abstract: 

This thesis explores how early modern English nuns in exile on the European continent purposefully utilized letter writing as a strategy of communication with the outside world. Cut off from their homeland and families by both geographic distance and physical enclosure, letters provided women religious with a medium to ensure their convents' survival and preserve English Catholicism. This critical analysis of nuns' letters reveals the multidimensional nature and intentional construction of their correspondence. Nuns made deliberate epistolary choices. They employed strategic language, utilized flattery and humility, as well as exaggeration and gossip to achieve their objectives. A comparison of individual epistolary experiences demonstrates that letters were vital for maintaining familial and kinship ties, financial and spiritual economies, political engagement, and the transnational diffusion of information.

Subject: 

European History
Women's Studies
History of Religion

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 
M.A.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

History

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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