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Written in 1577 and first published in English in 1852, The Interior Castle is considered one of the greatest works of Catholic spiritual prose. A painting of the spirit within a Renaissance landscape, this allegory of the soul as a castle is both poetic and didactic. Written in address of women, this work describes the seven concentric groups of mansions within the soul, each aligned to one of the seven heavens, and here is the map which gently, and with love and prayer, leads the female spirit through war, fear, and humility, into the ultimate destination-the central court and a spiritual "marriage" to God. The works of Spanish nun SAINT TERESA OF AVILA (1515-1582) rank among the most extraordinary mystical writings of Roman Catholicism and among the classics of all religious traditions. Her writings include The Way of Perfection and her autobiography, The Life of Saint Teresa of Jesus.
This 16th-century Spanish mystic is considered one of the most profound spiritual teachers in the history of Christianity. Father Kieran Kavanaugh, the editor of this volume, says in his introduction, 'The Interior Castle has come to be regarded as Teresa's best synthesis...'
The Interior Castle, or The Mansions, is a guide for spiritual development through service and prayer. Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. In 1622, forty years after her death, she was canonized by Pope Gregory XV, and in 1970 named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI. Her books, which include her autobiography, The Life of Teresa of Jesus, and her seminal work, El Castillo Interior (The Interior Castle), are an integral part of the Spanish Renaissance literature as well as Christian mysticism and Christian meditation practices as she entails in her other important work Camino de Perfección (The Way of Perfection).
The acclaimed modern translation of St. Teresa of Avila's classic book on spiritual awareness and guidance Celebrated for almost five centuries as a master of spiritual literature, 16th-century saint Teresa of Avila is one of the most beloved religious figures in history. Overcome one day by a mystical vision of a crystal castle with seven chambers, each representing a different stage in spiritual development, Teresa immediately wrote The Interior Castle. Probably her most important and widely studied work, it guides the spiritual seeker through each stage of development until the soul's final union with the divine. Free of religious dogma, this modern translation renders St. Teresa's work a beautiful and practical set of teachings for seekers of all faiths in need of spiritual guidance. It also places this classic book on spirituality —"a gem of mystical literature made accessible and relevant to the modern spiritual seeker" –Sharon Salzberg—in a contemporary context, reasserting its literary importance even after more than 400 years.
An important moment in American literary history takes life in this stunning biography of Jean Stafford, one of the most successful, admired--and troubled--of the brilliant and influential midcentury circle of writers and critics that included Allen Tate, Caroline Gordon, Peter Taylor, Delmore Schwartz, Randall Jarrell, and Robert Lowell, Stafford's first husband. Ann Hulbert shows us how Stafford, raised in Colorado, the daughter of a failed writer of Westerns, came of literary age in the East, yet fiercely maintained her connection with her provincial background, forging the unique style that marked her highly acclaimed first novel, Boston Adventure; her Masterpiece, The Mountain Lion; her third novel, The Catherine Wheel; and the stories she published in The New Yorker and elsewhere, which were honored in 1970 with a Pulitzer Prize. We follow Stafford through the early experiences to which she returned again and again in her fiction, and which helped shape her disenchanted vision--her father's sudden loss of his fortune; her shame as an adolescent, living in a boardinghouse in Boulder run by her mother; her aesthetic experimentation as a member of the intellectually maverick "Barbarians" at the University of Colorado; her exciting but troubling Wanderjahr in Nazi Germany, where she watched civilization crumbling. We see her take her place as a forceful, attractive, witty, yet also insecure woman among a group of spirited young writers who were learning from and challenging their older mentors--the increasingly powerful Southern critics and the Partisan Review circle in New York. With her marriage to Lowell at twenty-four, she embarked on a feverishly creative but ill-fated coursethat held auguries of his and his fellow poets' tragic paths: she struggled with Catholicism, confronted domestic violence, battled with alcoholism and mental instability, and throughout it all wrote formally impeccable fiction. And we see her as she finds some happiness with her third husband, the writer A. J. Liebling, part of the New Yorker world that had become her home in the late 1940s. Throughout, we are made aware of Stafford's constant search for a bastion of order--a safe place, an escape from the unsettling sense of vulnerability that engulfed her, an interior castle--from which to approach her life and her art.

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