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The Life and Loves of a 'Portuguese Nun'

Myriam Cyr.
Myriam Cyr.

In 1669, a Paris bookseller published a dainty volume called Portuguese Letters. It was small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, but its passionate story inspired poets and painters for hundreds of years.

The identity of the writer has been the subject of much debate.

Were they penned by the French man whose name appears on the original publication?

Or were they the work of a 27-year-old Portuguese nun who had been loved -- and abandoned -- by a French soldier?

Author Myriam Cyr decided to examine the literary mystery. She tells Liane Hansen about Letters of a Portuguese Nun.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


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