Female Cloister in the Ibero-Atlantic World: Pernambuco and Portugal in the sixteenth to the eighteenth century

To ensure the protection of female brood was always a concern for families in Ibero-Atlantic world of the Old Regime. When it was not possible to marry the girls with quality people, seek the shelter of the cloister houses to give them a state was an option and, in many cases, a demonstration of affection of the parents. The cloistered spaces assumed multiple roles, as both allow the desired protection and honor, as a devout life made possible for those who had a vocation. But, in contradiction, make up prison space for those who somehow broke the boundaries within which women were allowed to move. Thus, this paper tries to demonstrate how cloistered institutions were part of the life of women and families of aristocratic society of the Ancien Regime.

women; nobility; cloister; Ibero-Atlantic


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