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The Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun (1669) - Vicomte De Guilleragues, Gabriel De Lavergne

Related: epistolary novel - Nun - Portugal - 1600s

The Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun (1669) - Vicomte De Guilleragues, Gabriel De Lavergne [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


The "Portuguese Letters" were published anonymously in 1669, alleged translations into French of letters written by a Portuguese nun to a French officer who had loved and left her. Recent scholarship suggests Guilleragues was their author. Reminiscent of the exchanges between Heloise and Abelard of an earlier time, the letters display a remarkable acuity of psychological insight into the mind of a woman in love and on the edge of hysteria. --via Amazon.com

The Letters of a Portuguese Nun were written by the 17th century Franciscan nun, Marianna Alcoforado, to Noel Bouton, later Marquis de Chamilly. The letters to her lover which have earned her renown in literature were written between December 1667 and June 1668, and they described the successive stages of faith, doubt and despair through which she passed. The letters could also be considered pieces of unconscious psychological self-analysis. The five short letters written by Marianna to "expostulate her desertion" form one of the few documents of extreme human experience, and reveal a passion which in the course of two centuries has lost nothing of its heat. Perhaps their dominant note is reality, and, sad reading as they are from the moral standpoint, their absolute candour, exquisite tenderness and entire self-abandonment have excited the wonder and admiration of great men and women in every age, from Madame de Sévigné to Gladstone. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letters_of_a_Portuguese_Nun [Sept 2005]

See also: epistolary novel - love - nun - 1600s - novel

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