Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun by…

The Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun

by Mariana Alcoforado, Gabriel Joseph de Lavergne (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
156276,544 (3.43)5



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 5 mentions

Italian (1)  English (1)  All (2)
The romance between Mariana Alcoforado, a Portuguese nun, and Nöel Bouton de Chamilly, an officer of the French Army, took place in the mid-17th century. Chamilly abandoned Mariana in 1667, after which they exchanged a series of letters. The Portuguese originals were never recovered, but a French translation was published by a Count of Guillerages and became an instant bestseller, much in the way that The Sorrows of Young Werther would a century later.

There has been much controversy about the authorship of the letters. Did she really write them, or were they forged by the Count of Guillerages? It seems like it all began as a prudish attempt to dismiss the possibility that a Nun could have had an affair with a soldier - and written him letters! Love letters, of all things!

The more I read, the more convinced I am that Mariana Alcoforado did write those letters. In those days, it wasn't unusual for love letters to be publicly read in fashionable salons and reunions – in fact, when these were published, people merely complained about the cowardice of mentioning Mariana but keeping her lover's name a secret.

Life in a 17th century convent was far from austere – these women had their own servants and private quarters inside the main enclosure, and it wasn't unusual for soldiers to visit and flirt with them more or less openly. Those behaviors were tolerated, but still had to be kept secret.

So it's not at all implausible that the affair happened, and that the letters were written and made public. But if there's something that makes the story more convincing it's the letters themselves. There's no way these were written by a man and meant as entertainment. They have the consistency of tone of a person in terrible pain, and all the little incoherencies in content that come with it.

Which is to say, these are over the top. It's so sad to think about this woman, buried alive because her family wouldn't take care of her, living in such a small world. No wonder she went all “Fatal Attraction” on the guy. For me, the initial feeling of “Whoa – get a grip, crazy lady” slowly became sort of a “What a waste. What a sad, fucking waste.” Poor girl. ( )
  beabatllori | Apr 2, 2013 |
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mariana Alcoforadoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lavergne, Gabriel Joseph deAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrade, Eugénio deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Badosa, EnriqueTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bergemann, FritzAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bowles, W. R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bury, EmmanuelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Casassas, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gosse, EdmundAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haan, Frans deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Houppermans, SjefEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lazarus, JosephineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norton, LucyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palau i Fabre, JosepTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schendel, Arthur vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szabó, MagdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waldman, GuidoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important places
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Denk eens, mijn lief, in hoe hoge mate je onvoorzichtig bent geweest!
Last words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
10 wanted
8 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.43)
2 4
2.5 2
3 7
3.5 3
4 9
4.5 2
5 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,071,729 books! | Top bar: Always visible