Diodota Malvasia: Writings on the Sisters of San Luca and Their Miraculous Madonna

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe - The Toronto Series , Vol. 38

Diodota Malvasia: Writings on the Sisters of San Luca and Their Miraculous Madonna

Edited by Danielle Callegari and Shannon McHugh
2015 | 142 pp. | 978-0-86698-534-5 | Paperback 6 x 9 in
MRTS 479 | $31.95 | £24.95 |

OVEME v38
Edited and translated by Danielle Callegari and Shannon McHugh


The Bolognese nun Diodata Malvasia was presumed to have authored only one work, The Arrival and the Miraculous Workings of the Glorious Image of the Virgin (1617). In her recently discovered second manuscript chronicle, A Brief Discourse on What Occurred to the Most Reverend Sisters of the Joined Convents of San Mattia and San Luca (1575), her writing demonstrates active resistance to Tridentine convent reform. Together, Malvasia’s works read as the bookends to a lifelong crusade on behalf of her convent.
The two convent chronicles by Diodata Malvasia tell the story of Bologna’s most famous religious icon, the Madonna of San Luca, and of the struggle of convent women with authorities over its control. The earlier chronicle includes epistolary exchanges between the convent and civic and ecclesiastical authorities — extraordinary examples of the art of persuasion and eloquent documents of the interconnectedness of convent and secular life. Callegari and McHugh provide an accurate, clear and elegant English translation, with introduction and notes that provide an indispensable guide to the times, the characters and events portrayed; they give us a unique voice from Renaissance Bologna, an important cultural center under-represented in contemporary research on women’s history and literature.
—Elissa B. Weaver, Professor Emerita of Italian Literature, University of Chicago