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Nuns as Historians in Early Modern Germany$
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Charlotte Woodford

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256716

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199256716.001.0001

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6 Conclusion
Nuns as Historians in Early Modern Germany


Oxford University Press

This chapter presents some concluding thoughts. The study has shown how widespread the writing of history was in German convents in the early modern period. Moreover, it has demonstrated that, while some historiography was written by confessors, nuns themselves were the authors of many works. The many different functions of historiography demonstrate its importance for convents as institutions and explain why so many accounts were written. That so many are still extant shows how generation after generation of nuns continued to value them, and re-read them too, as the copying of texts by later generations shows. The texts are significant of the way in which women, by becoming nuns, were able to develop their talents as writers in a way which would not have been possible in the outside world. They were able to devote long hours to such an intellectual pursuit and, moreover, were assured of an appreciative readership.

Keywords:   historiography, German convents, early modern period, texts

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