The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio: A True Story - eBook
The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio: A True Story - eBook  -     By: Hubert Wolf, Ruth Martin
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Vintage / 2015 / ePub
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The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio: A True Story - eBook

Vintage / 2015 / ePub

In Stock
Stock No: WW64568EB


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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Vintage
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 9780385351928
ISBN-13: 9780385351928

Publisher's Description

A true, never-before-told story—discovered in a secret Vatican archive—of sex, poison, and lesbian initiation rites in a nineteenth-century convent.

In 1858, a German princess, recently inducted into the convent of Sant’Ambrogio in Rome, wrote a frantic letter to her cousin, a confidant of the Pope, claiming that she was being abused and feared for her life. What the subsequent investigation by the Church’s Inquisition uncovered were the extraordinary secrets of Sant’Ambrogio and the illicit behavior of the convent’s beautiful young mistress, Maria Luisa. Having convinced those under her charge that she was having regular visions and heavenly visitations, Maria Luisa began to lead and coerce her novices into lesbian initiation rites and heresies. She entered into a highly eroticized relationship with a young theologian known as Padre Peters—urging him to dispense upon her, in the privacy and sanctity of the confessional box, what the two of them referred to as the "special blessing."

What emerges through the fog of centuries is a sex scandal of ecclesiastical significance, skillfully brought to light and vividly reconstructed in scholarly detail. Offering a broad historical background on female mystics and the cult of the Virgin Mary, and drawing on written testimony and original documents, Professor Wolf—Germany’s leading scholar of the Catholic Church, and among the very first scholars to be granted access to the archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly the office of the Inquisition—tells the incredible story of how one woman was able to perpetrate deception, heresy, seduction, and murder in the heart of the Church itself.




From the Hardcover edition.

Author Bio

HUBERT WOLF, born in 1959, is a professor of ecclesiastical history at the University of Muenster, Germany. He was honored with the Leibnizpreis of the German Science Society (DFG), the Communicator Prize, and the Gutenberg Prize, and he was a fellow at the historical society in Munich.




From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

International praise for Hubert Wolf’s The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio

"Hubert Wolf [has] found something that, as they say on the Internet, will blow your mind." —Lev Grossman, Time

"Hubert Wolf’s The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio offers a learned yet fascinating account of this incident. . . . Wolf, who found the records of this investigation in an unlikely corner of the Vatican archives, makes the most of his story." —Laura Miller, Salon

"Professor Wolf retells this incredible story with a straight face. I hardly knew whether to laugh or cry. Solid German princess confronts vampy Italian nun with a cross in one hand and bottle of poison in the other. You couldn't make it up. It would make a great film."  —Marcus Tanner, The Independent


"Hubert Wolf, a German papal scholar, deftly balances this juicy history with a raft of serious (yet accessible) research." —Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe

"This story doesn’t roll back from the higher ground Wolf lifts it to; it continues forward, steamrolling the reader." —Peter Lewis, Barnes and Noble Review

"This sordid tale of sexual indecency, false saints, and murder within a 19th-century convent in Rome has all the trappings of a good thriller. . . . Wolf (Pope and Devil), a professor of ecclesiastical history at the University of Münster, adds detailed historical context and careful explanations to elevate this tale beyond sensationalism into a more serious study of a fascinating real-life melodrama." —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review, Book of the Week)

"The long-hidden story of the ultimate convent scandal, masterfully retold. . . . Wolf has expertly recovered and retold this scandalous tale in all its gory, as well as bureaucratic, detail." —Kirkus

"The discovery of the century straight from the Vatican archives. An absorbing story of abuse, murder, and false morals." —Kurier

"The gloomy intrigue that [Hubert Wolf] reveals in this extraordinary book, in which murders mingle with forbidden love in all the senses of the word, seems to verify the most overstretched commonplaces of the convent literature, from Diderot’s La Religieuse to de Sade’s Juliette."  —Le Monde

"The true story of an Italian nunnery in the nineteenth century contains all the ingredients of a thriller: the Inquisition, sex, poisoning, conspiracy, and hypocrisy."
Neue Zürcher Zeitung am Sonntag

"The way Hubert Wolf deduces insightful conclusions from the doubtlessly spectacular incidents in the nunnery is nothing but masterly."
Die Zeit

"Mysticism, sex, theology, murders . . . . It has all the ingredients of a good whodunit." —La Vie


From the Hardcover edition.

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