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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant evocation, 26 Sept. 2008
This review is from: The She-Apostle: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Luisa de Carvajal (Hardcover)
This is an amazing evocation of the sights, smells, fears and politics of London in the early 17th century, seen through the eyes of one of its most peculiar inhabitants, as well as the story of her life before coming to London - a Roman Catholic ascetic at the heart of the Catholic paranoia that followed the Gunpowder Plot. It is very readable and throws unexpected light onto the present day.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The She-Apostle, 3 Nov. 2008
By 
Laura M. Mccallen (Ontario, CANADA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The She-Apostle: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Luisa de Carvajal (Hardcover)
The She-Apostle; The Extraordinary Life and Death of Luisa de Carvajal, by Glyn Redworth, is an informative and entertaining examination of the evolution of a young girl into a devoted and daring advocate of the Catholic cause in Spain and then England, during the early 1600s. Luisa's life provides an interesting and riveting view of the lengths to which devoted Catholics went to practice and preach their religion. Luisa's journey to England begins long before she stepped foot on the ships that would carry her there, and Redworth provides a detailed and engaging study of how she came to set her heart on martyrdom, and how this led her to England. Luisa was a controversial figure both in life, and in death, and this book successfully navigates both sides of the argument, while offering new insights and questions. Redworth's expertise on the subject is evident and his writing is in top form. I highly recommend this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The She-Apostle, 18 Nov. 2008
This review is from: The She-Apostle: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Luisa de Carvajal (Hardcover)
The She-Apostle is a fascinating book, about a fascinating character, who is arguably one of the lesser known figures of conventional history. Her remarkable story is beautifully conveyed by Redworth's distinctive style of writing which is skillful and detailed, yet easy to follow and engaging. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in history.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent history writing, 3 Oct. 2008
This review is from: The She-Apostle: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Luisa de Carvajal (Hardcover)
Redworth is one of the most readable and interesting of early modern historians and has a remarkable affinity with Spanish culture. This is another success for him.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nun of Spitalfields, 1 Nov. 2008
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J. Hyde - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The She-Apostle: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Luisa de Carvajal (Hardcover)
Redworth's writing is always excellent and this is no exception. Weaving skilful prose from the fascinating primary evidence, his writing bounces along sharing new insights into the London of James I and the politics of England and Spain in the early modern period, without losing sight of the personal experiences of this singular woman. As well as being academically impeccable, the book is easy to read! 'The She-Apostle' is excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating story of an indomitable spirit, 14 Mar. 2012
By 
Jeremy Bevan (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The She-Apostle: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Luisa de Carvajal (Hardcover)
This is a fascinating biography. It's the story of Spanish noblewoman Luisa de Carvajal who, rather startlingly, developed a `vocation' for martyrdom - due in no small part to the religiously-motivated abuse (including regular flagellation) she endured at the hands of her uncle as a child. The fiercely independent-minded Luisa initially lives a monastic lifestyle in Spain, though - scandalously for the time - not within an enclosed order. But at length, her vocation finds expression in migration to the England of James 1 shortly before the Gunpowder Plot. From this time on, she takes on a number of roles in support of the persecuted Catholic faithful. She visits them in prison; becomes an `effective agitator in England and well-informed lobbyist at the princely courts of Europe' (143); attends the executions of some of the captured priests, later organising exhumations in order to preserve their hair and bones as relics; and faithfully records their lives and passing for Catholic posterity.

There's more than a hint of the underground resistance fighter in this spirited, fearless and determined, if sometimes politically naïve, woman. And Glyn Redworth's closely researched and well-written account places her firmly at the centre of the complex currents of intrigue that swirled around England at the time, as well as setting her clearly in the context of the political and social climate of the age. As a result, the period, and Luisa's life, come alive with exceptional vigour and clarity. Whether Carvajal, released from the last of her periods of imprisonment only shortly before her death, can truly be considered a martyr is in a sense incidental. What is less in doubt is the stature of this Jesuit-inspired, passionately devoted Catholic woman in a man's world. A thorn in the side even of her country's ambassador to the Court of King James, Luisa de Carvajal, for all her faults, appears to have had an indomitable spirit and a vision for the endurance of the Catholic faith when such boldness and fervour were risky, if not foolhardy. Glyn Redworth has done the history of the period, and of its Catholicism, proud with this great book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The She-Apostle: The extraordinary life and death of Luisa de Carvajal, 18 May 2009
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J. E. Mills (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The She-Apostle: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Luisa de Carvajal (Hardcover)
Prof. Redworth's engaging account of the life and death of this extremely controversial figure of the 17th century was a joy to read - enjoyable and informative in equal measure.
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The She-Apostle: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Luisa de Carvajal
The She-Apostle: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Luisa de Carvajal by British Hispanic Foundation Visiting Chair at the Complutense University in Madrid for the academic year 2008-9. (Hardcover - 25 Sept. 2008)
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