I am delighted to be joining Durham University as an IMEMS Library Fellow in April and May. During my time there I will be researching a project entitled ‘Mysticism among the English Poor Clares, 1580-1680’.
|Fresco of Saint Clare and nuns of her Order|
The project proposes that the Poor Clares represent a unique case among female monastic communities, with their library containing works of spiritual direction by Benedictine, Carmelite, Jesuit and Augustinian confessors and authors. Exploring the contents of the collection, as well as the ownership marks and marginalia of individual works, will reveal the richly diverse spirituality of the nuns. It will also shed new light on the interconnected nature of spiritual direction in the seventeenth century, with the Durham collection suggesting devotional material initially directed towards one community of nuns quickly transcended such confines and found popularity with secondary audiences in other convents.