We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Untold Sisters

Hispanic Nuns in Their Own Works

Electa Arenal and Stacey Schlau Translations by Amanda Powell

Publication Year: 2010

As in the first edition, the authors first study and then anthologize some representative nuns' writings, which are presented in modernized Spanish and English. Revealed here are the contradictions of female monastic life: repression and liberation, obedience and rebellion, conformity and individuality.

Published by: University of New Mexico Press

Front Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (6.7 MB)
p. -

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (85.2 KB)
p. -


pdf iconDownload PDF (18.7 KB)
p. -


pdf iconDownload PDF (130.0 KB)
p. -


pdf iconDownload PDF (92.0 KB)
pp. vi-vii

read more

Preface to the Revised Edition

pdf iconDownload PDF (127.2 KB)
pp. ix-xii

Untold Sisters: Hispanic Nuns in Their Own Works was the first general introduction to early modern Hispanic convent culture published in the United States. Framed within a feminist literary theoretical viewpoint, it brings together and contextualizes previously inaccessible or ignored texts by women from Spain and its two principal viceroyalties, Mexico and Peru. Through breadth of examples and depth of analysis we sought to provide contemporary readers with keys to unlocking works in which nuns taught and entertained, chronicling ...

read more

Preface to the First Edition

pdf iconDownload PDF (118.0 KB)
pp. xii-xiv

Within the relative abundance of recent feminist scholarship on women and religion, Hispanic voices have generally been absent. This book provides a new look at old writing for what we hope will be new audiences. We see Untold Sisters as a bridge between Hispanic and women’s studies scholars and between the fields of women’s literature and women’s spirituality...

read more

A Note on the Translations

pdf iconDownload PDF (116.7 KB)
pp. xv-xvi

In 1977 I arrived in Madrid and began searching card catalogs and archives at the Biblioteca Nacional, convinced I would find what I had not seen and no one could point to: the works of other convent writers, prior and contemporaneous ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (88.3 KB)
p. xvii-xvii

This revised edition of Untold Sisters has been a long time coming. In the two decades since the first, scholars in the fields of early modern Spanish and colonial women’s studies have sustained us with their use of the ...

read more

Introduction: Reclaiming the Mother Tongue: History and Spiritual Politics

pdf iconDownload PDF (477.6 KB)
pp. 1-18

Uncounted Hispanic nuns wrote about their Lives from the end of the fifteenth into the eighteenth centuries.1 Many composed poems, plays, and letters as well. Some wrote in their own hand; some dictated oral narratives; many copied manuscripts for each other. More still provided ecclesiastics with reports and testimony and ...

read more

1: More Than One Teresa: A Movement of Religious Women

pdf iconDownload PDF (8.8 MB)
pp. 19-46

Ana de San Bartolomé (1549–1626) and María de San José (1548–1603), two of Saint Teresa’s most beloved Daughters and direct inheritors of her vision, played a central role in extending and institutionalizing the Discalced Carmelite Order. For both, fidelity to the Teresian Constitution and Rules became a raison ...

read more

2: Two Sisters Among the Sisters: The Flowering of Intellectual Convent Culture

pdf iconDownload PDF (676.0 KB)
pp. 129-186

On January 17, 1588, two sisters from a university family, María (1568–1640) and Cecilia (1570–1646) Sobrino Morillas, took the veil together in Valladolid, where they entered the Discalced Carmelite Convento de la Concepción, Saint Teresa’s fourth foundation (1568). Their family background and the somewhat unconventional choice of convent ...

read more

3: The Poor Pray More: A Peasant Nun (Isabel de Jes

pdf iconDownload PDF (949.5 KB)
pp. 187-224

When Isabel de Jesús (1586–1648) complains to God that everybody mocks her, he responds in a vision with “mira, yo obro en ti una de las grandes obras que he obrado después de mi Encarnación” [56] (look, I am working in you one of the greatest works that I have worked since my Incarnation)...

read more

4: Convent In/Verse: A Dramatist of Female Religious Life (Marcela de San F

pdf iconDownload PDF (6.9 MB)
pp. 225-247

The life of Marcela de San Félix (1605–87), which spanned an extraordinary century of Spanish cultural history, illuminates four important issues: illegitimacy and self-legitimation, the problems and benefits of being the daughter of a famous father, censorship and self-censorship, and asceticism as a structure for ...

read more

5: Spiritual Housekeepers of the Spanish Empire: The Ap

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.3 MB)
pp. 291-332

From Madrid we move to Peru and Mexico, to which, in the early sixteenth century, Spaniards brought an imperial, nationalistic, and Christian world-view developed from thirteenth-century law and theory and codified under...

read more

6: New Spain: Arche/Types, Archi/Texts

pdf iconDownload PDF (396.4 KB)
pp. 333-395

The women—and especially the nuns—of New Spain, as Mexico was officially called from the sixteenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century, made important contributions to the vibrant and tragic criolla and mestiza culture that emerged from conquest and colonization...


pdf iconDownload PDF (291.5 KB)
pp. 401-430


pdf iconDownload PDF (247.5 KB)
pp. 431-446


pdf iconDownload PDF (165.8 KB)
pp. 447-460

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.2 MB)
p. -

E-ISBN-13: 9780826351180
E-ISBN-10: 0826351182
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826347381
Print-ISBN-10: 082634738X

Page Count: 478
Illustrations: 39 halftones
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: Revised Edition