The Life of St Teresa of Avila by Herself

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Penguin Books Limited, 1957 - Biography & Autobiography - 316 pages
49 Reviews
Born in the Castilian town of Ávila in 1515, Teresa entered the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation when she was twenty-one. Tormented by illness, doubts and self-recrimination, she gradually came to recognize the power of prayer and contemplation – her spiritual enlightenment was intensified by many visions and mystical experiences, including the piercing of her heart by a spear of divine love. She went on to found seventeen Carmelite monasteries throughout Spain. Teresa always denied her own saintliness, however, saying in a letter: ‘There is no suggestion of that nonsense about my supposed sanctity.’ This frank account is one of the great stories of a religious life and a literary masterpiece – after Don Quixote, it is Spain’s most widely read prose classic.

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Review: The Life of Saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself

User Review  - Brett Folkman - Goodreads

Exceptionally honest, allowing one to peer deep into the soul of this amazing woman of faith. Especially loved the descriptions of her heavenly manifestations and her humility throughout. Read full review

Review: The Life of Saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself

User Review  - Brett Folkman - Goodreads

Exceptionally honest, allowing one to peer deep into the soul of this amazing woman of faith. Especially loved the descriptions of her heavenly manifestations and her humility throughout. Read full review

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About the author (1957)

J. M. Cohen, born in London in 1903 and a Cambridge graduate, was the author of many Penguin translations, including versions of Cervantes, Rabelais and Montaigne. For some years he assisted E. V. Rieu in editing the Penguin Classics. He collected the three books of Comic and Curious Verse and anthologies of Latin American and Cuban writing. He frequently visited Spain and made several visits to Mexico, Cuba and other Spanish American countries. With his son Mark he edited the Penguin Dictionary of Quotations and its companion Dictionary of Modern Quotations.

J. M. Cohen died in 1989. The Times' obituary described him as 'the translator of the foreign prose classics for our times' and 'one of the last great English men of letters', while the Independent wrote that 'his influence will be felt for generations to come'.

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