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Helena Tarabotti

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Nun and authoress, b. at Venice, 1605; d. there 1652. Obliged by her father, who was descended from a family of Bergamo, to enter the Convent of Sta. Anna at Venice, at the age of eleven years, she remained there, under the name of Arcangela, without any religious vocation. In earnest study, her keen spirit found its element, and through various works she became an authoress of some repute. Her first books betray an unsettled state of mind, but later she wrote treatises on the spiritual life in which, through the influence of Cardinal Cornaro, Patriarch of Venice, she finally found peace. Her more worldly works, partly pseudonymous, are: "Antisatira d'A[rcangela]T[arabotti] in risposta alla satira Menippea contro il lusso donnesco di Francesco Buoninsegni", Venice, 1644; "Lettere familiari e di complemento", Venice, 1650; "Difesa delle donne contro Orazio Plata", Venice, 1651; "La semplicita ingannata", Leyden, 1654; the last two were written under the name of Galerana Barcitotti. The books referring to spiritual life are: "La luce monacale"; "Via per andare al cielo"; "Paradiso monacale"; "Purgatorio delle mal maritate"; "Contemplazioni dell' anima amante".

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