By Kenneth Stow
After being seized by means of the papal police in Rome in may perhaps 1749, Anna del Monte, a Jew, saved a diary detailing her captors’ efforts over the following 13 days to strength her conversion to Catholicism. Anna’s robust chronicle of her ordeal by the hands of specialists of the Roman Catholic Church, initially circulated through her brother Tranquillo in 1793, gets its first English-language translation besides an insightful interpretation via Kenneth Stow of the incident’s criminal and old value. Stow’s research of Anna’s dramatic tale of prejudice, injustice, resistance, and survival in the course of her two-week imprisonment within the Roman residence of Converts—and her brother’s later efforts to protest state-sanctioned, religion-based abuses—provides an in depth view of the separate forces on both sides of the fight among spiritual and civil legislations within the years simply sooner than the big political and social upheavals in the United States and Europe.
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Anna and Tranquillo: Catholic Anxiety and Jewish Protest in the Age of Revolutions by Kenneth Stow