In the early 1700s, five nuns set out from their convent in Madrid, Spain to travel halfway around the world to Lima, Peru—a journey not all would survive. Their riveting adventure story, seen through the eyes of Abbess Maria Rosa, chronicles a three-year journey through wars, pirates, disease, the high seas, and treacherous mountain passes of the Andes. Yet this unique historical document is much more than a typical travel narrative. It illuminates eighteenth-century life of religious women on both sides of the Atlantic basin, while Maria Rosa’s lively prose attests to the literary connection among women religious writers of Spain and Latin America. This annotated edition and first-ever English translation will interest scholars and students alike.
Sarah E. Owens is an Associate Professor of Spanish at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. She has conducted extensive archival research in Spain and Mexico. Her articles have appeared in Colonial Latin American Historical Review, Studia Mystica, and Hispanic Journal.