Introduction
in English Benedictine nuns in exile in the seventeenth century
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This introduction provides an overview of the historiography of English Catholicism in the early modern period and highlights the absence, until recently, of substantial academic work on the place and role of enclosed nuns in the survival and the Catholic mission. In an effort to contextualise the English convents in exile on the Continent, it asks the question of the national specificities of institutions which belonged to the same Church and the same Orders as continental monasteries yet were the product of very different circumstances at home. Moreover, the introduction highlights the interdisciplinarity of the study of convents, which is at the crossroads of prosopography, religious history, social history, political history, but can also be approached through the prisms of art history, literary studies, gender studies or emotion studies.

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