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The Cruelest of All Mothers – Marie de l'Incarnation, Motherhood, and Christian Tradition - Fordham Scholarship Online
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The Cruelest of All Mothers: Marie de l'Incarnation, Motherhood, and Christian Tradition

Mary Dunn


In 1631, Marie Guyart (later, Marie de l’Incarnation) stepped over the threshold of the Ursuline convent in Tours, into the cloister and out of the world, leaving behind the family business, her aging father and—what jars the modern reader—her eleven-year-old son. The Cruelest of All Mothers examines Marie’s confounding decision to abandon the young Claude, situating the event within the contexts of Marie’s own writings, family life in seventeenth-century France, the Christian tradition, and early modern French spirituality. This book takes up Marie’s decision to abandon Claude as an instance ... More

Keywords: abandonment, Catholicism, France, Marie de l’Incarnation, motherhood, seventeenth century

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780823267217
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823267217.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mary Dunn, author
St. Louis University