Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nuns on the Run

English nuns in exile.
In 1598, the first English convent was established in Brussels and was to be followed by a further 21 establishments across Flanders and France with more than 4,000 women entering them over 200 years. Most were enclosed convents, in theory cut off from the outside world. However, in practice the nuns were not isolated and their contacts and networks spread widely. Here, these substantial communities of women found outlets for female expression often unavailable to their secular counterparts, until the French Revolution and its associated violence forced the convents back to England. (Read entire post.)

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