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A Wild Country out in the Garden

The Spiritual Journals of a Colonial Mexican Nun [Hardback]

by Amanda Powell

    • Author

      Amanda Powell

    • Book Format


    • Publisher

      Indiana University Press

    • Published

      December 1999

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      A Wild Country out in the Garden

      Today's Price £47.32

      Product Description

      'Before I turned eleven, I had already begun to enjoy something that before I had never done nor known what it was, which was to dress myself carefully with concern for how I looked. And my not having wasted time on this vanity was no virtue of mine, but of my mother and sisters, because in our home I never saw so much as a trace of that poison and snare of women, poor things. And though in those years I went about squandering so much, I never heard mention of the things that go on in the world.And as far as finery and adornments that are used there, I have never been inclined to nor fond of such things, for I have always felt great repugnance - I do not mean only as to using them myself on my own person, but even seeing them on other people; because I have always known how ill spent is the time some people spend in dressing themselves only to look pleasing to anyone who sees them. Well, as I was saying about how I would dress with care, especially my hair (for I had very pretty hair at that time), I was not so lacking in light [as not] to know that in itself was bad' - Maria de San Jose.The autobiographical writings of Madre Maria de San Jose (1656-1719) - mystic, chronicler, and co-founder of an Augustinian convent - capture the spirit of Baroque Mexico and the circumstances in which the majority of Spanish and Spanish American religious women wrote.A relatively uneducated woman from a family of Spanish descent, Maria entered the Convent of Santa Monica (Puebla) at age thirty-one. There her confessor became concerned about the orthodoxy of Maria's vivid spiritual life, which was filled with supernatural visions of God, saints, and demons. This confessor asked Maria to record the years she spent on her family's working hacienda and her call to the religious life. The journal continued, in twelve volumes, throughout Maria's more than thirty years in the convent.Madre Maria inscribed her life story within the model of spiritual autobiography set by Sts. Augustine and Teresa of Avila, but at the same time included her individual life as a seventeenth-century woman of the landowning classes in New Spain. The resulting manuscript records in intimate detail her family life, convent surroundings, and social milieu; it introduces us to a combative and engaging person and gives us a rare and vivid glimpse of a complex society. In Madre Maria's lively prose, a down-to-earth treatment of daily life both on a provincial hacienda and in a cloistered convent moves into passages rendering deep mystical absorption.As a charismatic woman living according to Counter-Reformation guidelines in the New World, Maria de San Jose and her writings illuminate how class, race, gender - even birth order and convent prestige - determined the roles people played in society and how they contributed to community believe and identity.


      • Author

        Amanda Powell

      • Book Format


      • Publisher

        Indiana University Press

      • Published

        December 1999

      • Weight


      • Page Count


      • Dimensions

        156 x 234 x 27 mm

      • ISBN


      • ISBN-10


      • Eden Code


      More Information

      • Author/Creator: Amanda Powell

      • ISBN: 9780253335814

      • Publisher: Indiana University Press

      • Release Date: December 1999

      • Weight: 772g

      • Dimensions: 156 x 234 x 27 mm

      • Eden Code: 2500390

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