Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy

By Judith C. Brown | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
The First Investigation

THE PROVOST OF PESCIA, Stefano Cecchi, who was the leading ecclesiastical official in the town, came to examine Benedetta himself. He was accompanied by several of his subordinates and a scribe to take notes. The provost was an elderly but vigorous man, a member of one of the richest and most powerful families of Pescia. He was used to taking charge. Indeed, this is how he had become provost nearly twenty years earlier. For when in 1600 Pope Clement VIII nominated a Florentine nobleman, Bernardo Segni, to the post, it did not occur to Cecchi to sit idly by and watch the dignity of the office, not to say the living to be made from it, slip from the grasp of his family, which had shared it with the Turini family for almost a century. His vigorous protests blocked the appointment of Segni and led to his own appointment instead. Once in power, he continued to pursue his course with equal vitality. For two decades he actively campaigned to make Pescia a bishopric, with himself, naturally, as its first incumbent,while at the same time he manged to preside with a firm hand over the ecclesiastical affairs of a rapidly changing jurisdiction. Cecchi, in short, was not a man who would relish being either deceived or ignored. 1 He

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Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents *
  • Introduction 3
  • Chapter One - The Family 21
  • Chapter Two - The Convent 29
  • Chapter Three - The Nun 42
  • Chapter Four - The First Investigation 75
  • Chapter Five - The Second Investigation 100
  • Epilogue 132
  • Appendix - A Note About the Documents, with Selected Translations 139
  • Notes 165
  • Index 207
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