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Both during his lifetime and afterwards Armand Jean le Bouthiellier, the abbe de Rance, was a controversial figure. Alive, he was extravagantly admired by many, yet had, as one recent biographer observed, 'an unhappy genius for incurring hostility unnecessarily'. Dead, he continued to evoke extreme reactions-he was either loved or loathed. One biographer nicknamed him 'the thundering abbot'; others depicted him in hagiographical panegyrics. The present volume sets Rance against the colorful and extravagant world of seventeenth-century France and corrects both masterly and entertaining caricatures by exploring the world which surrounded and formed this ever fascinating monk: the privileged circles of the ancient regime in which Rance moved from his birth in 1626; and the austere monastic environment he created at la Trappe. 'This is not so much a book about Rance as around Rance, Dr Bell writes. 'I do not expect that it will persuade people who do not like Rance to like him; it may, however, serve to explain why he said and did what he said and did in the way that he said and did.'
Buy Understanding Rance: The Spirituality Of The Abbot Of La Trappe In Context (Cistercian Studies Series) by David N. Bell from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780879071059 & 0879071052
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