Mariana Alcoforado

Portuguese nun (born 1640) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sóror Mariana Alcoforado (Santa Maria da Feira, Beja, 22 April 1640  Beja, 28 July 1723) was a Portuguese nun living in the convent of the Poor Clares (Convento de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, Convent of Our Lady of the Conception) in Beja, Portugal.

Quick facts: Mariana Alcoforado, Born, Died, Occupation, L...
Mariana Alcoforado
Sóror Mariana Alcoforado
Born(1640-04-22)22 April 1640
Beja, Portugal
Died28 July 1723(1723-07-28) (aged 83)
OccupationNun, Writer
Notable worksLetters of a Portuguese Nun

Debate continues as to whether Mariana was the real Portuguese author of the Letters of a Portuguese Nun (comprising five letters). Her purported love affair with the French officer Noël Bouton, Marquis de Chamilly and later Marshal of France, has made Beja famous in literary circles, mainly in Portugal and France.

Some literary scholars consider the letters a fictional work and their authorship is ascribed to Gabriel-Joseph de Lavergne, comte de Guilleragues (1628–1684), although a real nun named Mariana Alcoforado indeed existed. In her recent book Letters of a Portuguese Nun: Uncovering the Mystery Behind a Seventeenth-Century Forbidden Love (2006), the author Myriam Cyr has attempted to reassert the attribution of the letters to the real Mariana Alcoforado.

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