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Letters of Catherine Benincasa

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141 pages
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Letters of Catherine Benincasa by Catherine Benincasa
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**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**
*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****
Title: Letters of Catherine Benincasa
Author: Catherine Benincasa
Release Date: February, 2005 [EBook #7403] [This file was first posted on April 24, 2003]
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO Latin-1
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, LETTERS OF CATHERINE BENINCASA ***
Anne Soulard, Charles Franks, Robert Shimmin, and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team
LETTERS OF CATHERINE BENINCASA
[Illustration: The Ecstasy of St. Catherine
Detail from Bazzis Fresco] SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA AS SEEN IN HER ...
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Letters of Catherine Benincasa by Catherine Benincasa Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook. This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the header without written permission. Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved. **Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts** **eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** *****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!***** Title: Letters of Catherine Benincasa Author: Catherine Benincasa Release Date: February, 2005 [EBook #7403] [This file was first posted on April 24, 2003] Edition: 10 Language: English Character set encoding: ISO Latin-1 *** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, LETTERS OF CATHERINE BENINCASA *** Anne Soulard, Charles Franks, Robert Shimmin, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team LETTERS OF CATHERINE BENINCASA [Illustration: The Ecstasy of St. Catherine Detail from Bazzis Fresco] SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA AS SEEN IN HER LETTERS TRANSLATED & EDITED WITH INTRODUCTION BY VIDA D. SCUDDER TABLE OF CONTENTS Table of Persons Addressed St. Catherine of Siena as seen in her letters Chief Events in the life of St. Catherine Brief Outline of Contemporary Public Events To Monna Alessa dei Saracini To Benincasa her brother, when he was in Florence To the Venerable Religious, Brother Antonio of Nizza To Monna Agnese, who was the wife of Messer Orso Malavolti To Sister Eugenia, her niece at the Convent of St. Agnes of Montepulciano To Nanna, daughter of Benincasa, a little maid, her niece Letters on the Consecrated Life To Brother William of England To Daniella of Orvieto, clothed with the Habit of St. Dominic To Monna Agnese, wife of Francesco, a tailor of Florence Letters in response to certain criticisms To Monna Orsa, wife of Bartolo Usimbardi, and to Monna Agnese To a Religious man in Florence, who was shocked at her Ascetic Practices To Brother Bartolomeo Dominici To Brother Matteo di Francesco Tolomei To a Mantellata of Saint Dominic, called Catarina di Scetto To Neri di Landoccio dei Pagliaresi To Monna Giovanna and her other daughters in Siena To Messer John, the Soldier of Fortune To Monna Colomba in Lucca To Brother Raimondo of Capua, of the Order of the Preachers To Gregory XI To Gregory XI To Gregory XI To Brother Raimondo of Capua, at Avignon To Catarina of the Hospital, and Giovanna di Capo To Sister Daniella of Orvieto To Brother Raimondo of Capua, and to Master John III To Sister Bartolomea della Seta To Gregory XI To the King of France Letters to Florence To the Eight of War chosen by the Commune of Florence To Buonaccorso di Lapo: written when the Saint was at Avignon To Gregory XI To Monna Lapa, her mother, before she returned from Avignon To Monna Giovanna di Corrado Maconi To Messer Ristoro Canigiani To the Anziani and Consuls and Gonfalonieri of Bologna To Nicholas of Osimo To Misser Lorenzo del Pino of Bologna, Doctor in Decretals Letters written from Rocca D'Orcia To Monna Lapa, her mother, and to Monna Cecca To Monna Catarina of the Hospital, and to Giovanna di Capo To Monna Alessa, clothed with the Habit of Saint Dominic To Gregory XI To Raimondo of Capua To Urban VI To her spiritual children in Siena To Brother William and to Messer Matteo of the Misericordia To Sano di Maco, and to all her other sons in Siena To Brother Raimondo of Capua To Urban VI To Don Giovanni of the Cells of Vallombrosa Letters announcing peace To Monna Alessa, when the Saint was at Florence To Sano di Maco, and to the other sons in Christ To three Italian Cardinals To Giovanna, Queen of Naples To Sister Daniella of Orvieto To Stefano Maconi To certain holy hermits who had been invited to Rome by the Pope To Brother William of England, and to Brother Antonio of Nizza To Brother Andrea of Lucca, Brother Baldo, and Brother Lando To Brother Antonio of Nizza To Queen Giovanna of Naples To Brother Raimondo of the Preaching Order, when he was in Genoa To Urban VI Letters describing the experience preceding death To Master Raimondo of Capua To Master Raimondo of Capua, of the Order of the Preachers TABLE OF PERSONS ADDRESSED Agnese, Monna, di Francesco Andrea, Brother, of Lucca Antonio, Brother, of Nizza Baldo, Brother Bartolomea, Sister, della Seta Bartolomeo, Brother, Dominici Benincasa, Benincasa Benincasa, Eugenia Benincasa, Monna Lapa Benincasa, Nanna Bologna, Anziani of Capo, Giovanna di Canigiani, Ristoro Cardinals, Three Italian Catarina, of the Hospital Cecca, Monna Colomba, Monna, of Lucca Daniella, Sister, of Orvieto France, the King of Florence, Letters to Giovanna, Queen of Naples Giovanni, Don, of the Cells of Vallombrosa Gregory XI. John, Messer, Soldier of Fortune John III., Master Lando, Brother Lapo, Buonaccorso di Maco, Sano di Maconi, Monna Giovanna di Corrado Maconi, Stefano Malavolti, Monna Agnese Matteo, Messer, of the Misericordia Osimo, Nicholas of Pagliaresi, Neri di Landoccio dei Pino, Lorenzo del Raimondo, Brother, of Capua Religious, A, in Florence Saracini, Monna Alessa dei Scetto, Catarina di Tolomei, Brother Matteo di Urban VI., Pope Usimbardi, Monna Orsa War, the Eight of William, Brother, of England LETTERS OF CATHERINE BENINCASA ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA AS SEEN IN HER LETTERS I The letters of Catherine Benincasa, commonly known as St. Catherine of Siena, have become an Italian classic; yet perhaps the first thing in them to strike a reader is their unliterary character. He only will value them who cares to overhear the impetuous outpourings of the heart and mind of an unlettered daughter of the people, who was also, as it happened, a genius and a saint. Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, the other great writers of the Trecento, are all in one way or another intent on choice expression; Catherine is intent solely on driving home what she has to say. Her letters were talked rather than written. She learned to write only three years before her death, and even after this time was in the habit of dictating her correspondence, sometimes two or three letters at a time, to the noble youths who served her as secretaries. The modern listener to this eager talk may perhaps at first feel wearied. Suffocated by words, repelled by frequent crudity and confusion of metaphor, he may even be inclined to call the thought childish and the tone overwrought. But let him persevere. Let him read these letters as chapters in an autobiography, noting purpose and circumstance, and reading between the lines, as he may easily do, the experience of the writer. Before long the very accents of a living woman will reach his ears. He will hear her voice, now eagerly pleading with friend or wrong-doer, now brooding tender as a mother- bird over some fledgling soul, now broken with sobs as she mourns over the sins of Church and
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