By Jo Catling
This quantity makes the wide-ranging paintings of German girls writers obvious to a much broader viewers. it's the first paintings in English to supply a chronological creation to and evaluate of women's writing in German-speaking international locations from the center a long time to the current day. wide courses to extra interpreting and a bibliographical advisor to the paintings of greater than four hundred girls writers shape an essential component of the amount, so as to be crucial for college students and students of German literature, and all these drawn to women's and gender reports.
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Extra resources for A History of Women's Writing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Mechthild, too, writes out of a profound conviction that God Himself had chosen her as a new apostle. In answer to a monk who expressed astonishment at her audacity, she asked him if he could explain ‘how it came about that the apostles themselves, who were at first so timid and afraid, grew to be so bold after they had received the Holy Spirit’. Like Hildegard, she claims that she was commanded to write her book. It is not, however, an easy book to follow. It has, she says, to be read at least nine times, and always with due reverence and humility.
It was, however, her deviant religious views which led to her unsettled existence from 1632 and her ultimate refuge in Sweden. Central to her life during the years after her husband’s death was her involvement with nonconformist groups. Such ‘alternative’ Christians, usually led by one charismatic figure, came together in small groups to practise a much more individualistic and mystical Christianity than the orthodox churches, of whatever persuasion, were prepared to allow. The movement towards Reform, itself so revolutionary and anti-orthodox in the early Reformation years, had hardened into two institutionalized churches, Lutheran and Calvinist.
In the seclusion of her cell or during the silences of the daily office a nun would have ample time to reflect on her own life and the mysteries of religion and, with a little encouragement, might indeed begin to write. In some cases, the convents produced highly trained female scribes, some of whom emerge as rather striking personalities. One of the earliest known female scribes who copied a book of Latin sermons in the second half of the twelfth century, known as the Guda-Homiliar (now held in Frankfurt) identifies herself in a rubric: ‘Guda, peccatrix mulier, scripsit et pinxit hunc librum’ (Guda, a sinful woman, wrote and illuminated this book).