The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent in Scandal

BOOK: The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent in Scandal
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This work has been supported by a one-year research residency at the Historisches Kolleg in Munich. The Historisches Kolleg is financed by the Free State of Bavaria. The research stipend was provided by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.

The translation of this work was funded by Geisteswissenschaften International—Translation Funding for Humanities and Social Sciences from Germany, a joint initiative of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the German Federal Foreign Office, the collecting society VG WORT, and the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers & Booksellers Association).

THIS IS A BORZOI BOOK
PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF

Translation copyright © Alfred A. Knopf

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC, New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto, Penguin Random House companies. Originally published in Germany as
Die Nonnen von Sant’Ambrogio
, 3rd ed. by Hubert Wolf, München, in 2013. Copyright © 2013 by Verlag C. H. Beck oHG.

www.aaknopf.com

Knopf, Borzoi Books, and the colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLC.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Wolf, Hubert.
[Nonnen von Sant’Ambrogio. English]
The nuns of Sant’Ambrogio : the true story of a convent in scandal / Hubert Wolf; translated
by Ruth Martin.—First United States Edition.
pages cm
ISBN 978-0-385-35190-4 (hardover)
ISBN 978-0-385-35192-8 (eBook)
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Sant’Ambrogio della Massima (Monastery : Rome, Italy). 2. Nuns—Italy—Rome—History. 3. Convents—Italy—
Rome—History. 4. Scandals—Italy—Rome—History. 5. Catholic Church—Italy—
Rome—History. 6. Monasteries—Italy—Rome—History. I. Title.
BX4220.I8W6513 2014
271′.973045632—dc23        2014001625

Front-of-jacket photograph:
Sad Memories
by Amerino Cagnoni, 1984 (detail).
De Agostini Picture Library/The Bridgeman Art Library
Jacket design by Kelly Blair

v3.1

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Copyright

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

NOTES

SOURCES AND LITERATURE

ILLUSTRATION CREDITS

A Note About the Author

A Note About the Translator

Dramatis Personae

PRINCESS KATHARINA VON HOHENZOLLERN-SIGMARINGEN

A German aristocrat. Spends fifteen months as the novice Luisa Maria in the convent of Sant’Ambrogio, where her knowledge of convent secrets puts her life in danger.

GUSTAV ADOLF ZU HOHENLOHE-SCHILLINGSFÜRST

The titular archbishop of Edessa and a confidant of Pope Pius IX. Also Katharina’s cousin and her savior.

MARIA AGNESE FIRRAO

Founder of the convent, whose inhabitants honor her as a saint. Convicted by the Holy Office of false holiness.

MARIA LUISA

The convent’s beautiful young novice mistress and madre vicaria. Has visions and is regarded as a saint.

MARIA VERONICA

Abbess of Sant’Ambrogio, thanks to Maria Luisa.

LUIGI FRANCESCHETTI

The lawyer responsible for the convent’s legal affairs.

AGNESE ELETTA

The niece of Agnese Firrao, a nun who shares Maria Luisa’s bed.

MARIA GIACINTA

Franceschetti’s sister, a nun who also shares Maria Luisa’s bed.

AGNESE CELESTE

A novice and a doctor’s daughter, who knows about medicines and poisons.

BOOK: The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent in Scandal
13.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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