Lieutenant Nun: Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World

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Beacon Press, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 80 pages
4 Reviews
Named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 1996

One of the earliest known autobiographies by a woman, this is the extraordinary tale of Catalina de Erauso, who in 1599 escaped from a Basque convent dressed as a man and went on to live one of the most wildly fantastic lives of any woman in history. A soldier in the Spanish army, she traveled to Peru and Chile, became a gambler, and even mistakenly killed her own brother in a duel. During her lifetime she emerged as the adored folkloric hero of the Spanish-speaking world. This delightful translation of Catalina's own work introduces a new audience to her audacious escapades.

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User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

This book is a treasure! Throughout history women have gone underground to pursue their chosen professions, and Catalina de Erauso wanted to be a soldier. She got to be one, and wasn't the only ... Read full review

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User Review  - hemlokgang - LibraryThing

My daughter read this book during a college curse dedicated to the study of "Don Quixote". This and some other novellas were companion reads, examples of the "picaresque" novel. The difference in the ... Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Catalina de Erauso was born in Spain in either 1585 or 1592, according to disputed records, and died in 1650. Raised and educated in a convent, de Erauso refused to conform to the strict nature of the environment and, disguising herself in men's clothing, escaped in 1600. As a fugitive, she then traveled to various countries and joined the Chilean military, climbing the ranks. Her story is told in Lieutenant Nun: Memoirs of a Basque Transvestite, which was originally wrote or dictated, and eventually published, in Paris in 1829.

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