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The Nun (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 11 Sep 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (11 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199555249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199555246
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 1.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 285,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

) is the seemingly true story of a young girl forced by her parents to enter a convent and take holy orders. A novel mingling mysticism, madness, sadistic cruelty and nascent sexuality, it gives a scathing insight into the effects of forced vocations and the unnatural life of the convent. This new translation includes Diderot's all-important prefatory material.

About the Author

Russell R. Goulbourne is lecturer in French at the University of Leeds, England. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Feb 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have heard of this book and its portrayal of lesbianism in a convent, you will be disappointed. This is not a sex story and has only very mild titillation.

Russell Goulbourne presents here a brilliant new translation of this powerful novel, and also provides a very illuminating introduction. If you are aware of the famous incident at Loudon you will have some idea of what went on in convents. This story is set at a later date, in the eighteenth century, and looks at the phenomenom of a practice quite prevalent then, especially in France. Families would place their children into monasterys or convents if they were illegitimate (as in this book), or couldn't provide suitable marriage dowries, amongst many other reasons. This resulted in what amounts to imprisonment for the rest of their lives of innocent people.

Suzanne, the heroine of our novel is eventually forced into becoming a nun, amongst persecution, bullying, and humiliation. Around her she sees madness, abuse of power and despair, eventually contemplating suicide herself. When she is moved to another convent she encounters lesbianism and sexual jealousy.

This novel is a very powerful portrayal of what was happening in those times and looks at intolerence and oppression, subjects that are still of concern in these days. It is quite easy to see why this was a bestseller in its day, and why it still enthralls readers today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sally tarbox TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 May 2012
Format: Paperback
As the offspring of her mother's affair, Suzanne is ever aware that she is treated less favourably than her siblings. As soon as possible her parents arrange for her to enter a convent, this being a cheap way to dispose of her, while her sisters receive dowries and can marry.
The novel follows Suzanne through her years as a nun- her attempts to refuse to make her vows, the pressure on her to conform and then the different personalities she encounters within the convent walls. From the deeply loving to the incredibly cruel; the melancholy, the jealousy, the madness and the lesbianism.
As Suzanne notes, she is unlike most nuns, driven from the religious life by some unruly passion. 'I want to be free because my freedom was sacrificed against my will.'
Short (180 p) but gripping read.
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By MES on 11 Dec 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Glad I read it, but hard work! Not one I would read again....not everyone`s taste. Still, it was interesting learning about the Church.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
'my daughter, I don't want you to poison my life any longer' 9 May 2012
By sally tarbox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As the offspring of her mother's affair, Suzanne is ever aware that she is treated less favorably than her legitimate siblings. As soon as possible, her parents arrange for her to take the veil, (this being a cheap way to dispose of her), while her sisters receive dowries and can marry.
This novel follows Suzanne through her years as a nun- her attempts to refuse to take her vows; the pressure on her to conform and then the different personalities she encounters within the convent walls. From the deeply loving to the incredibly cruel; the melancholy, the jealousy, the madness and the lesbianism.
As Suzanne notes, she is unlike most nuns who are driven from the religious life by some unruly passion. 'I want to be free because my freedom was sacrificed against my will'.
Short (180 p) but gripping read.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Unable to put down, so enthralled 8 Jan 2013
By RosH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I loved ths book so much I could not put it down, it was amazing story of the strength of a wonderful nun and the trials she went through with the church
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Sad 28 July 2013
By Lisa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a sad story and is actually difficult to figure out at the end. Quite frankly it is rather appalling and if this is based in fact, then it is beyond horrible. Not an uplifting story and a terrifying commentary on how a closed system can become monstrous for those who do not follow.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
It' alright I guess 26 Dec 2012
By Joy2353 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got through the book, but it took some time. Just didn't grab my interest like I thought it would.
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