Secondary sources


Some recent publications on early modern English nuns


Benedictines of Stanbrook Abbey, In a Great Tradition ( London, 1956).

Bowden, Caroline, ‘Lived Religion in English Convents in Exile, 1600 – 1800: Accommodating the Ordinary and the Exceptional within the Rule’ in Anne Dunan-Page, Laurence Lux-Sterritt and Tessa Whitehouse (eds), Reconstructing early-modern religious lives: the exemplary and the mundane, E-rea 18.1 (2020). Read here.

— ‘ “For the glory of God”: a study of the education of English Catholic women in convents in Flanders and France in the first half of the seventeenth century’, Paedagogica Historica, supplement series 5 (1999), 77-95.

— ‘The abbess and Mrs Brown: Lady Mary Knatchbull and royalist politics in Flanders in the late 1650s’, Recusant History, 24:3 (1999), 288-308.

— ‘The role of Mary Knatchbull in the English Benedictine foundations of the seventeenth century’, Magistra, 8:1 (2002), 26-52.

— ‘Community space and cultural transmission: formation and schooling in English enclosed convents in the seventeenth century’, History of Education, 34:4 (2005), 365–86.

—  ‘Women in Educational Spaces’ in The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Women’s Writing, (link is external) edited Laura Knoppers, Cambridge University Press, 2009.

— ‘Books and Reading at Syon Abbey, Lisbon in the seventeenth century’ in Syon Abbey and its Books: Religious Communities and Communication in Late Medieval and Early Modern England (link is external)edited by E A Jones and Alexandra Walsham, Woodbridge, Boydell and Brewer, 2010.

— ‘Collecting the lives of early modern women religious: obituary writing and the development of collective memory and corporate identity’, Women’s History Review, 19:1 (2010), 7–20.

— ‘The English convents in exile and questions of national identity, 1600–1688’ in Worthington, David (ed.), Emigrants and Exiles from the Three Kingdoms in Europe, 1603–1688, Amsterdam: Brill, 2010, pp. 297-314.

— ‘Patronage and Practice: Assessing the Significance of the English Convents as Cultural Centres in Flanders in the Seventeenth Century’, in English Studies 92.5 (2011), 483-495.

— ‘Journey of Five Capuchin Nuns’, Church History and Religious Culture 91.3 (2011): 532-534

— ‘Les Clarisses anglaises d’Aire-sur-la-Lys (1629-1799): stratégies d’une survie’, Etudes Franciscaines, Nouvelle série, 5 (2012) fasc. 2.

— ‘“A distribution of tyme”: reading and writing practices in the English convents in exile’, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 31:1/2 (2012), 99-116.

— with James Kelly (eds), The English Convents in Exile, 16001800. Communities, Cultures and Identity, Farnham: Ashgate, 2013. Read a review here

— ‘Missing Members: Selection and Governance in the English Convents in Exile’, in Bowden Caroline and James Kelly (eds) The English Convents in Exile, 1600-1800, 53-70.

— ‘Building libraries in exile: The English convents and their book collections in the seventeenth century’, British Catholic History 32.3 (2015), 343-382.

—  ‘“For the Glory of God”: a Study of the Education of English Catholic Women in Convents in Flanders and France in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century’, Paedagogica Historica 35.sup 1 (2015), 77-95.

—  ‘English Reading Communities in Exile: Introducing Cloistered Nuns to their Books’, in eds., Leah Knight, Micheline White, & Elizabeth Sauer, Women’s Bookscapes in Early Modern Britain: Reading, Ownership, Circulation, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2018, 153-170.

—  ‘Lectures dans les communautés anglaises en exil: les religieuses cloîtrées et les livres au xviie siècle’, in Les Femmes dans le cloitre et la Lecture, Fabienne Henryot et Philippe Martin, Paris: Bibliothèque Beauchesne, 2017, 465-492.

—  Convent Schooling for English Girls in the “Exile” Period 1600-1800, in Studies in Church History, Ecclesiastical History Society and Boydell, 2019. (in press)

Coolahan, Marie–Louise, ‘Identity politics and nuns’ writing’, Women’s Writing (2007), 306-20.

Corens, Liesbeth, Confessional Mobility and English Catholics in Counter-Reformation Europe, Oxford University Press, 2019.

— ‘Dislocation and Record Keeping. The Counter Archives of the Catholic Diaspora’, in Alexandra Walsham, Kate Peters, and Liesbeth Corens (eds.), The Social History of the Archive: Record Keeping in Early Modern Europe, Past & Present Supplement 11 (Oxford, 2016), 269-287.

—‘Saints Beyond Borders. Relics and the Expatriate English Catholic Community’, in: Jesse Spohnholz and Gary Waite (eds.), Exile and Religious Identity, 1500-1800 (London, 2014), 25-38.

— ‘Sermons, Soldalities and Saints. The Role of Religious Houses for the English Expatriate Community’, Trajecta 21 (2012), 118-136.

—‘Catholic Nuns and English Identities. English Protestant Travellers on the English Convents in the Low Countries, 1660-1730’, Recusant History 30 (2011), 441-459.

Gertz, Genelle, ‘Barbara Constable’s Advice for Confessors and the tradition of medieval holy women’, in Bowden, Caroline and James Kelly (eds), The English Convents in Exile, 16001800. Communities, Cultures and Identity, Farnham: Ashgate, 2013, pp. 109-22.

Goodrich, Jaime, Faithful Translators. Authorship, gender and Religion in Early Modern England, Evanston, Ill.: North Western University Press, 2014. See a review here. 

— ‘Nuns and community-centered writing: the Benedictine Rule and Brussels Statutes’, Huntington Library Quarterly 77:3 (2014), 287-303. Read it online here

— ‘ “Ensigne–bearers of St Clare”: Elizabeth Evelinge’s early translations and the restauration of English Franciscanism’ in White, Micheline (ed.), English Women, Religion and Textual Production, 1500–1625, Ashgate, 2011, pp. 83–100.

—‘Translating Lady Mary Percy: authorship and authority among the Brussels Benedictines’, in Bowden, Caroline and James Kelly (eds), The English Convents in Exile, 1600–1800: Communities, Culture and Identity, Farnham: Ashgate, 2013, pp. 109–22.

Hallett, Nicky, The Senses in Religious Communities, 16001800. Early Modern ‘Convents of Pleasure’, Farnham: Ashgate, 2013. Read a review here. 

— (ed.), ‘Philip Sidney in the cloister: the reading habits of English nuns in seventeenth-century Antwerp’, Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies, 12:3 (2012), 87–115.

— ‘ “So short a space of time”: early modern convent chronology and Carmelite spirituality’, Journal for Medieval & Early Modern Studies, 42:2, (2012), 539-66.

— ‘Paradise postponed: the nationhood of nuns in the 1670s’ in Claydon, Tony and Tom Corns (eds), Religion, Culture and the National Community in the 1670s, University of Wales Press, 2011, pp. 10–34.

— ‘Shakespeare’s sisters: Anon and the authors in early modern convents’, in  Bowden, Caroline and James Kelly (eds), Communities, Culture and Identity: The English Convents in Exile, 1600–1800, Farnham: Ashgate, 2013, pp. 139–55.

Keats-Rohan, K. S. B (ed.), English Catholic Nuns in Exile, 1600-1800. A Biographical Register, Prosopographia & Genealogica Occasional Publications, vol. 17, 2017.

Kelly, James E., English Convents in Catholic Europe, c. 1600—1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

with Susan Royal, Early Modern English Catholicism.  Identity, Memory and Counter-Reformation, c. 1570 – 1800. Brill, 2017.

— English Women Religious, the Exile Male Colleges and National Identities in Counter-Reformation Europe, in Chambers, Liam & O’Connor, Thomas (eds), College Communities Abroad: Education, Migration and Catholicism in Early Modern Europe.  Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017,  198-220.

— ‘Bringing it all back home: Mary Butler (1641-1723) – Benedictine Abbess of Ypres’ , in  Ryan, Salvador (ed.) Treasures of Irish Christianity volume 3: To the Ends of the Earth.  Veritas, 2015, 64-66.

—‘Essex girls abroad: family patronage and the politicization of convent recruitment in the seventeenth century’, in Bowden, Caroline and James Kelly (eds), The English Convents in Exile, 16001800. Communities, Cultures and Identity, Farnham: Ashgate, 2013, pp. 33-52.

Lay, Jenna, ‘An English nun’s authority: early modern spiritual controversy in the manuscripts of Barbara Constable’, in Lux–Sterritt, Laurence and Carmen Mangion (eds), Gender, Catholicism and Spirituality. Women and the Roman Catholic Church in Britain and Europe, 1200–1900, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, pp. 99–114.

— ‘The literary lives of nuns: crafting identities through exile, in Bowden, Caroline and James Kelly (eds), The English Convents in Exile, 16001800. Communities, Cultures and Identity, Farnham: Ashgate, 2013, pp. 71-86.

Lux–Sterritt, Laurence, « Dieu ou les hommes ? Vivre l’obéissance dans les couvents anglais en exil (1598-1688) », in Anne Dunan-Page, Laurence Lux-Sterritt and Tessa Whitehouse (eds), Reconstructing early-modern religious lives: the exemplary and the mundane, E-rea 18.1 (2020). Read here

— « Appartenance et singularité des couvents anglais en exil sur le continent : l’exception anglaise », Revue de la Société d’Études Anglo-Américaines des XVIIème et XVIIIème Siècles, 76 (2019). Read here

— “S’approprier les sens pour dépasser la clôture: les religieuses anglaises s’inscrivent dans la mission’, Etudes Epistémè 34 (2018), read here

English Benedictine Nuns in Exile in the Seventeenth Century. Living Spirituality. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017. See review here.

— ‘Divine love and the negotiation of emotions in early modern English convents’, in Bowden, Caroline and James E. Kelly (eds), The English Convents in Exile, 1600–1800: Communities, Culture and Identity, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013, pp. 229–45.

— ‘Clerical guidance and lived spirituality in early modern English convents’, in Lux–Sterritt, Laurence and Claire Sorin (eds) Spirit, Faith and Church. Women’s Experiences in the English–Speaking World, 17th–21st centuries, Newcastle–upon–Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2012, pp. 60–91.

— ‘ “Virgo becomes virago”: women in the accounts of seventeenth–century English Catholic missionaries’, Recusant History 30:4 (2011), 537–53.

— ‘Mary Ward’s English Institute and prescribed female roles in the early modern Church’, in Lux–Sterritt, Laurence and Carmen Mangion (eds) Gender, Catholicism and Spirituality, London: Palgrave: 2010, pp. 83–98.

— and Carmen Mangion (eds), Gender, Catholicism and Spirituality in Europe, 1200–1900, London: Palgrave, 2010.

— ‘La séduction au service de la perfidie: représentation des missionnaires de la contre–réforme en Angleterre’, Revue de la Société d’Études Anglo–Américaines des XVIIéme et XVIIIème siècles 65 (2008), 57–75. Read here

— ‘Mary Ward et sa Compagnie de Jésus au féminin dans l’Angleterre de la Contre-Réforme’, Revue de l’Histoire des Religions 225:3 (2008), 393–414. Read here

— ‘Mary Ward’s English Institute: the active apostolate as an act of self-affirmation?’, Recusant History 28:2 (2006), 192–208.

Redefining Female Religious Life: French Ursulines and English Ladies in Seventeenth–Century Catholicism, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005.

— ‘An analysis of the controversy caused by Mary Ward’s Institute in the 1620s’, Recusant History 25:4 (2001), 636–47.

Moutray, Tonya, Refugee Nuns, the French Revolution, and British Literature and Culture. New York: Routledge Press, 2016.

— ‘Remodeling Catholic Ruins in the Poetry of William Wordsworth’, European Romantic Review 22.6 (2011): 819-31.

— ‘Jane Barker and the Politics of Catholic Celibacy’, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 47.3 (Summer 2007): 595-618.

— ‘Through the Grate; Or, English Convents and the Transmission and Preservation of Female Catholic Recusant History’, in The Catholic Church and Unruly Women Writers, eds Leigh Eicke, Jeana DelRosso and Ana Kothe. New York: Palgrave, 2007. 105-121.

— ‘Peregrinations to the Convent: Hester Thrale Piozzi and Ann Radcliffe’, in British-French Exchanges in the Eighteenth Century, eds. Dorothy Medlin and Katherine Doig. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007. 116-30.

— ‘The Cloistered Pen: Penetration and Conception in Eliza Keary’s ‘Christine and Mary: A Correspondence’, Victorian Literature and Culture 31.1 (2003): 315-332.

— ‘Unwed Orders: Religious Communities for Women in the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell’, Gaskell Society Journal 17 (2003): 59-76.

Murphy, Emilie, ‘Language and Power in an English Convent in Exile, c. 1621- c. 1631’, The Historical Journal 62.1 (2018): 101-125. Read it here

Schiano-Locurcio, Claire,Entre Réforme Catholique et impératifs de survie : vie religieuse et activisme féminin chez les clarisses anglaises du XVIIème siècle exilées sur le continent”, in Anne Dunan-Page, Laurence Lux-Sterritt and Tessa Whitehouse (eds), Reconstructing early-modern religious lives: the exemplary and the mundane, E-rea 18.1 (2020). Read here

Van Hyning, Victoria, Convent Autobiography. Early Modern English nuns in Exile, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.

—‘Augustine Baker: discerning the “call” and fashioning dead disciples’, in Copeland, Clare and Jan Machielsen (eds), Angels of Light? Sanctity and the Discernment of Spirits in the Early Modern Period, Leiden, Brill, 2013, pp. 143–68.

— ‘Naming names: chroniclers, scribes and editors of St Monica’s convent, Louvain, 1631-1906, in Bowden, Caroline and James Kelly (eds), The English Convents in Exile, 16001800. Communities, Cultures and Identity, Farnham: Ashgate, 2013, pp.87-108.

Walker, Claire, ‘Combining Martha and Mary: gender and work in seventeenth-century English cloisters’, The Sixteenth Century Journal, 30 (1999), 397- 418.

—‘Prayer, patronage, and political conspiracy: English nuns and the Restoration’, The Historical Journal, 43:1 (2000), 1–23.

Gender and Politics in Early Modern Europe: English convents in France and the Low Countries, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Read a review here

— ‘ “Doe not supose me a well mortifyed nun dead to the world”: letter–Writing in early modern English convents”, in Daybell, James (ed.), Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing 1450–1700, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001, pp. 159-76.

— ‘Spiritual property: the English Benedictine nuns of Cambrai and the dispute over the Baker manuscripts’, in Wright, Nancy E., Margaret W. Ferguson and A. R. Buck (eds), Women, Property and the Letters of the Law in Early Modern England, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004, pp. 237–55.

— ‘Loyal and dutifull subjects: English nuns and Stuart politics’, in Daybell, James (ed.), Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450–1700, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004, pp. 228–42.

— ‘Recusants, daughters and Sisters in Christ. English nuns and their communities in the seventeenth century’, in Broomhall Susan and Stephanie Tarbin (eds), Women, Identities and Communities in Early Modern Europe, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008, pp. 61–76.

— ‘Securing souls or telling tales? The politics of cloistered life in an English convent’, in Van Wyhe, Cordula (ed.), Female Monasticism in Early Modern Europe. An Interdisciplinary View, London: Ashgate, 2008, pp. 227–44.

— ‘Priests, nuns, presses and prayers: the Southern Netherlands and the contours of English Catholicism’, in Kaplan, Benjamin, Bob Moore, Henk van Nierop and Judith Pollman (eds), Catholic Communities in Protestant States: Britain and the Netherlands, c. 1570–1720, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009, pp. 139–55.

— ‘Continuity and isolation: the Bridgettines of Syon in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’, in Jones, E. A. and Alexandra Walsham (eds), Syon Abbey and its Books: Reading, Writing and Religion, c. 1400–1700, Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2010, pp. 155-76.

— ‘ “These crumms of nuse”: early modern English nuns and royalist intelligence networks’, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 42:3 (2012), 635-55.  

— ‘ “When God shall restore them to their kingdoms”: nuns, exiled Stuarts, and English Catholic identity, 1660–1745’, in Apetrei, Sarah and Hannah Smith (eds), Religion and Women in Britain, c. 1660–1760, Farnham: Ashgate, 2014, pp. 79-98.

Wolfe, Heather, ‘The scribal hands and dating of Lady Falkland: Her Life’, in Beal, Peter and Margaret J. M. Ezell (eds), English Manuscript Studies 1100–1700, Vol. 9: Writings by Early Modern Women, London: British Library, 2000, pp. 187–217.

— ‘Reading bells and loose papers: reading and writing practices of the English Benedictine nuns of Cambrai and Paris,’ in Burke, Victoria E. and Jonathan Gibson (eds), Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Writing, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 135–56.

—‘Dame Barbara Constable: Catholic antiquarian, advisor and closet missionary’, in Corthell, Ronald, Frances E. Dolan, Christopher Highley and Arthur F. Marotti (eds), Catholic Culture in Early Modern England, Notre Dame, Ind: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007, pp. 158–88.


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