December 07, 2010
Craig A. Monson interviewed about his book Nuns Behaving Badly: Tales of Music, Magic, Art, and Arson in the Convents of Italy:
MONSON: These were women who were relatively well educated, from aristocratic families, locked up behind a wall where they are invisible, and they are given a certain amount of autonomy....One can see how they would have developed a certain amount of independence and created their own culture.
IDEAS: There’s one story about the nuns of San Niccolò di Strozzi who in 1673 burned down their own convent. Why arson?
MONSON: There are three ways of being released from obligation of monastic enclosure: pestilence, war and fire. Pestilence and war weren’t quite in the picture. So fire was the alternative. Apparently they voted...that they were going to do this.