About The Life of Antoinette Micolon
Antoinette Micolon (1592-1659) was a remarkable woman who founded six Ursuline convents in the Auvergne region of France in the early years of the seventeenth century. The Ursulines, originally founded in Italy as an uncloistered congregation, were one of the new “active” religious orders for women. Through their work as catechizers, teachers, and missionaries, women like Antoinette Micolon were crucial to both shaping and disseminating the ideals of the Catholic Reformation.
Her story gives us a vivid and detailed picture of the creation and spread of the new religious congregations for women during this period, of the motivations of and the difficulties faced by the women who joined them, and of their relationships with their families, communities, and church officials. As an example of the growing genre of religious memoir during this period, her story also provides insight into the fashioning of identity in early modern France. This book makes available in English translation an invaluable resource for the history of women in Counter-Reformation France, and its dual language format make it ideal for use in both history and literature courses.
Dr. Linda Lierheimer, Associate Professor of Humanities, Hawaii Pacific University, received her B.A. from Reed College in 1982 and her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1994. In 1998 she published “Preaching or Teaching? Defining the Ursuline Mission in Seventeenth-Century France,” In Pamela Walker and Beverly Kienzle, eds., Women Preachers and Prophets through Two Millennia of Christianity (Berkeley: University of California Press).
She is working on a book-length manuscript entitled, Women of Eloquence: Ursuline Nuns in Seventeenth-Century France, which will examine the spiritual needs of the Ursulines, the first women’s teaching order, and their role as agents of religious reform. According to Dr. Lierheimer, her research “will make an original and important contribution to the history of women and the history of religion during this period.”