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CFP Deadline: Feb. 1, 2019)

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Prison Narratives of Jeanne Guyon

Mourad, Ronney, and Dianne Guenin-Lelle, trans.


This book presents the first-ever published English translation of the Prison Narratives written by the seventeenth century French mystic and Quietist, Jeanne Guyon (1648–1717). Although she was marginalized and ignored by French historians for two centuries after her death, Guyon became a major figure in the development of trans-Atlantic Protestant spirituality in the eighteenth century, and her writings have remained popular among English-speaking audiences. Guyon’s narrative describes her confinement between 1695 and 1703 in various prisons, including the dreaded Bastille. It also maps, in moving and unforgettable detail, the political and religious hegemony that sought to destroy her reputation and erase her from history. Although she published an autobiography in 1720, Guyon kept the part that described her experience in prison private and the text remained undiscovered for almost three centuries — until an archival version was found and published in 1992. Mourad and Guenin-Lelle provide here not only a translation of the full Narratives but a thorough introduction, including a brief biography of Guyon, an analysis of the Quietist affair (the religious and political conflict responsible for her persecution), and a summary of the key historical, literary, and theological aspects of Guyon’s writings. The introduction represents the most detailed examination of the Prison Narratives presently available in either English or French.

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