Mette Birkedal Bruun

Sibylla Ursula of Braunschweig-Lüneburg’s French devotional books

I aim to identify the devotional profile of the French volumes in Sibylla Ursula of Braunschweig-Lüneburg’s (1629–1671) book collection. This collection offers an amazing window into a private collection of religious standard works of the age such as Caussin, La cour sainte (1624–31), Pierre Marie, La saincte solitude (1636), Godeau, Les tableaux de la pénitence (1654) and French translations of Rodriguez’ Ejercicio de Perfección (1609) and the Psalms, but also ‘les Passions de l’Ame des Cartes’. Sibylla Ursula’s inventory allows us to examine not only to the Princess’ devotional and cultural taste, but also a form of Early Modern mainstream piousness which traversed confessional boundaries. It is my hypothesis that notions of solitude loom large in this piousness and that Sibylla Ursula’s collection offers excellent material for a study of ideas of religious withdrawal and privacy in this ‘supra-confessional’ devotional culture.


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Homepage of my ERC-project SOLITUDES: Withdrawal and Engagement in the long Seventeenth Century: