Virgins of Venice: Enclosed Lives and Broken Vows in the Renaissance Convent

By: Laven, Mary

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Venice in the late Renaissance was a city of fabulous wealth, reckless creativity, and growing social unrest as its maritime empire crumbled. It was also a city of walls and secrets, ghettos, and cloisters--including fifty convents housing three thousand nuns, many of them refined, upper-class women who had been immured against their will. In this utterly fascination book, Cambridge historian Mary Laven uncovers the long-hidden stories of the "virgins of Venice" and the secret, and often surprising, lives they led. Sifting through records kept during the Counter Reformation, Laven has pieced together a detailed and dramatic tapestry of resourceful, determined, and passionate women who managed to lead fulfilling lives despite their virtual imprisonment. Far from being precincts of piety and silence, the convents of Venice were hotbeds of political scheming, colorful pageantry, gorgeous decoration, and illicit love affairs. One nun was so determined to sleep with her lover that she painstakingly chipped a hole in a stone wall so he could climb through under cover of night. Another expressed her individuality through obsessive gift giving while keeping records of the dangerous flirtations going on around her. Still others exercised considerable clandestine power in the dangerous game of Venetian politics. Rich in intrigue and gossip, eye opening in it's historic revelations, and written with drama and compassion, Virgins of Venice brings life to a culturally vibrant period in Venice and the hidden residents who dwelled behind its walls.

Title: Virgins of Venice: Enclosed Lives and Broken Vows in the Renaissance Convent

Author Name: Laven, Mary

Categories: Religion Spirit,

Publisher: Viking: 2002-07-04

ISBN Number: 0670896357

ISBN Number 13: 9780670896356

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Used: Very Good

Jacket Condition: Very Good jacket

Type: Hardcover

Size: 19 to 25 cm tall, Octavo, (8vo)

Seller ID: 088387

Description: 284 pages. Robust packaging. 1st class post to the UK, Airmail worldwide