, their episcopalian counterparts are frequently neglected.3 This is partly because self-examination
and self-criticism in diaries or notebooks were inherent to most strains
of puritanism, emerging from within experimental Calvinism within the
Elizabethan period, whereas it was apparently not so crucial to mainstream
or conservative episcopalians.4 A search for the life-writing of Restoration
bishops, therefore, is necessarily more difficult. None the less, such texts do
exist. Several of those who were to be appointed to the episcopate petitioned
Charles II in 1660
the nuns’ own writings reveal, in beautiful and nuanced detail.
1 Katrien Daemen-de Gelder (ed.), LifeWriting II, vol. 4, in Caroline
Bowden (ed.), English Convents in Exile, 1600–1800 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2013), pp. xiv-xv.
2 I would like to thank Sister Benedict, at St Mary’s Abbey, Colwich, for
her insights on this subject.
3 James Kelly (ed.), Convent Management, vol. 5, in Caroline Bowden
(ed.), English Convents in Exile, 1600–1800 (London: Pickering and
Chatto, 2013), pp. 411–21.
4 James Kelly, ‘Essex girls abroad: family patronage
histories of their own communities and, as
they did so, they became record keepers, historians and hagiographers, in charge of the perpetuation of their communities’ memories. They also wrote about their lives before and after they entered
the convent, and such lifewriting played an important part in the
proselytising endeavours of writers who aimed to edify through the
dissemination of inspiring Catholic lives. Others expressed their
views about issues relating to the governance of communities; they
revealed fascinating glimpses into the ways early modern nuns
Freethinking feminists and the renunciation of religion
masculine mode of life-writing was increased further by their use of an
inverted form of spiritual biography. Freethinking accounts of
spiritual turmoil and inner torment subverted the Christian conversion
narrative, leading to the conclusion that religion was false; that rather
than struggling against one’s doubts one should follow them through;
and that unbelief rather than union with God should be the outcome of this
Countrey’, in Caroline Bowden (ed.), English Convents in Exile, 1600–1800
(London: Pickering & Chatto, 2012), vol. 3, LifeWriting, edited by
Nicky Hallett, pp. 367–72.
52 Elliott, ‘The physiology of rapture p. 142: Elliott offers an etymological
analysis of the terms ‘rapture’ (to seize, to ravish), and ‘ecstasy’ (outside
53 CRS Misc. XI, Ghent, p. 39.
54 Ibid., pp. 59–60.
55 Weld-Blundell (ed.), Contemplative Prayer, p. 388.
56 Tobie Matthew, The Relation of the Holy and Happy Life and Death
of the Ladye Lucie Knatchbull, printed in Nicky
Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight, ‘Records of the nuns of the second
order’, p. 197.
64 K. Daemen-de Gelder, ‘Lifewriting II’, English Convents in Exile, 1600–1800, vol. 4, pp. xiii–xiv, 2–3.
65 Douai Abbey, C2, pp. 258–9, 297–8. Elizabeth Lombard, who professed as a lay sister at the
convent in 1623, had been converted to Catholicism by a Jesuit resident at St Omer college:
ibid., pp. 261–2; WWTN, GP222. Another future president of Douai, George Fisher, alias
Muscote, had received Elizabeth Hone into the church and recommended several convents to
her before she was
1642 (Toronto: PIMS, forthcoming).
37 ADN, Ms 20H-40 ‘God is to be loved above all things’, unfoliated.
38 Colwich Abbey, Ms H23, fols 209–10.
39 Tobie Matthew, The Relation of the Holy and Happy Life and Death
of the Ladye Lucie Knatchbull, printed in Nicky Hallett (ed.), English
Convents in Exile, 1600–1800, vol. 3, LifeWriting (London: Pickering
and Chatto, 2012), p. 169.
40 Ibid., p. 181.
41 Ibid., p. 199.
42 Corrigan (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion, p. 8.
43 Fear played a central role in both religious discourse and
/2, Scholastica Smith, undated document.
47 Ibid., Mary Roper to the archbishop of Mechelen, 9 April 1623.
48 Ibid., Christina Lovell, undated visitation document 28.
49 Ibid., Lucy Knatchbull, undated document.
50 AAM, Box 12/1, Anne Ingleby to the archbishop of Mechelen, undated
51 Ibid., Anne Ingleby to the archbishop of Mechelen, 28 August 1628.
52 Tobie Matthew, The Relation of the Holy and Happy Life and Death
of the Ladye Lucie Knatchbull (unfoliated section), printed in Nicky
Hallett (ed.), English Convents in Exile, 1600–1800, vol. 3, Life
endangered the continuation of the text itself. See D.R. Woolf, ‘The Rhetoric of
Martyrdom: Generic Contradiction and Narrative Strategy in John Foxe’s Acts and
Monuments’, in The Rhetorics of LifeWriting in Early Modern Europe: Forms of Biography
from Canandra Fedde to Louis XIV, ed. Thomas F. Mayer and D.R. Woolf (Michigan:
1995), pp. 243–282, p. 259.
112 Patrick Collinson comments: ‘an analysis of Foxe’s rhetorical and polemical art …
might depict a style in transition from the racy vulgarity of many of his sources and of
his more polemical passages to the decorousness
Cambers’ assertion that there existed a significant paradigm within religious manuscript writing which consisted of ‘sociability and the self’.
William Sherman's research on the ‘dynamic ecology of use and reuse’ of printed books equally applies to manuscript life-writing, a major theme in this volume, whereby the use of devotional texts leads to their frequent ‘transformation’ and ‘preservation’.
A wealth of recent research, outlined by Zeynep Tenger and Paul