Church of England Record Society


All Saints Sisters of the Poor. An Anglican Sisterhood in the Nineteenth Century, ed. Susan Mumm, 2001.

This book introduces readers to the life of a Victorian religious community, both within the privacy of the convent and in its work in the wider world, based on documents preserved by All Saints Sisters of the Poor. It begins by using the memoirs of first-generation members of the community, a colourful and human introduction to the Anglican ‘re-invention’ of monastic life in the second half of the nineteenth century. The section of government includes the power struggles between the sisters and the religious establishment, and the community's determination to retain its identity after of the death of the mother foundress. The sisters nursed with the newly formed Red Cross in the Franco-Prussian War, work recorded in a diary that discusses the difficulties and dangers of Victorian front-line nursing. Most of all, the documents reveal the challenges and excitement of the struggles to establish a women’s community, to be unfettered in their work with the poor and suffering, and to govern themselves, in a world largely hostile to their aspirations.

Susan Mumm is lecturer is religious studies at the Open University, Milton Keynes.

ISBN 0 85115 728 9.  Price: 45.  (Members: 25).

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