- Hardcover: 80 pages
- Publisher: Beacon Pr (February 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807070726
- ISBN-13: 978-0807070727
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #511,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lieutenant Nun: Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World
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From Publishers Weekly
When she reached the age of 15 in 1600, Catalina, from a wealthy Basque family, escaped from the convent where she had been placed as a child. Passing as a male, she served as a page in various households until 1603, when she set sail for South America. She remained there for 21 years, fighting as a man in Spain's conquest of Peru and Chile. Engaging in frequent swordplay and gunfights, she killed at least a dozen men, including (inadvertently) one of her brothers. Finally she confessed her true identity to a bishop and returned to Europe as a celebrity, where she received a pension from the king and, from Pope Urban VIII, the right to wear men's clothes. Her story, long on action and almost devoid of introspection, is not for readers looking for scandal or a confession of sexual adventures.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Dressed as a man, Erauso escaped from a convent when she was 15. Continuing in men's attire, she became, in 1603 and at age 18, a soldier who participated in the Spanish conquest of Peru and Chile. She accidentally killed her brother in a duel, which marked a downturn in her fortunes, and proceeded to spend some 20 years among the mining towns of the Andes Mountains, brawling, killing, maiming, gambling, entertaining the attention of other women, and occasionally running afoul of the law. Eventually she was forced to confess and became a celebrity when she was revealed to be not only a woman but still a virgin. In 1624 she returned to Europe and wrote the story of her fascinating life, which sheds light on indigenous and Spanish conquistador cultures as much as on the gender-based society of her day. Returning to the New World in 1630, she lived out her days as a mule driver and tradesman. Whitney Scott