Letters of a Portuguese Nun
Uncovering the Mystery Behind a 17th Century Forbidden Love
By Myriam Cyr
(Miramax Books, Paperback, 9781401360160, 256pp.)
Publication Date: February 2007
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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In 1669, a Parisian bookseller published a slim volume called Portuguese Letters, which unveiled a love affair between a young Portuguese nun and a French officer that had occurred a few years earlier during a war-torn period in Portugal. The book contained passionate love letters from the nun when the officer was forced to return to France.
The letters took Paris by storm. They spoke of love in a manner so direct, so precise, and so raw, they sent shivers of recognition through the sophisticated stratums of polite society. Equally remarkable was the mystery that surrounds the letters: the author was unknown, and most people assumed they were the fictional product of a French aristocrat. Now, Myriam Cyr persuasively makes the case that the nun, Mariana Alcoforado, did indeed write the letters, and her story is one of the most moving in the history of forbidden love.
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For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org