Academic journal article Magistra

The Fabric of Marian Devotion in Isabel De Villena's Vita Christin

Academic journal article Magistra

The Fabric of Marian Devotion in Isabel De Villena's Vita Christin

Article excerpt

The Fabric of Marian Devotion in Isabel de Villena's Vita Christin, by Lesley K. Twomey. Rochester, N.Y.: Boydell Press (Tamesis), 2013, 295 pp., $90.00, ISBN 9781-85566-248-3.

One area of the study of medieval women that has grown significantly in the last few years is that of the Spanish writers. Isabel de Villena (1430-1490) was abbess of a Poor Clare community in Valencia, Spain. Her version of the life of Christ is believed to be the first book by a woman to be printed in the kingdom of Aragon.

As is often the case with such writings, the incidents in the life of Jesus are embellished far beyond what one finds in the bible. Moreover, there is much personal interpretation as the writer becomes a viewer of, and commentator on, the scene.

The author has provided many excerpts from the work, in both Spanish and English, as well as exploration of the similarities and differences to other contemporary works and practice that help illustrate the unique voice of Isabel.

The most interesting thing about this book is that it is about more than the spiritual thought of Isabel. …

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