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Cherchez La Femme: Radical Religion In The Life And Poetry Of Luisa De Carvajal

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the radical poetry and life of Luisa de Carvajal who, although not following the career path of an enclosed nun, dedicated her life to propagating the Counter-Reformation in England. Luisa de Carvajal's religious vocation shaped her life and poetry from the beginning. Luisa de Carvajal’s life was a reflection of women’s aspirations. It was a daily struggle to achieve personal promotion and social acceptance within a patriarchal society designed to keep women away from public life and in a state of subordination and inferiority. Luisa de Carvajal’s poetic attempt to challenge a patriarchal order through her transgressive writings and subversive life, though it was not as successful as she hoped, has shown and anticipated new ways of making and experiencing the feminine. Her struggle pointed to future success in the construction of the feminine beyond male interference and control.

Keywords: Counter-Reformation; England; Luisa de Carvajal; patriarchal society; religious vocation



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