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At the age of twenty-one, Monica Baldwin - the niece of Stanley Baldwin - entered one of the oldest and most strictly enclosed contemplative orders of the Roman Catholic Church. At the age of forty-eight, and after struggling with her vocation for many years, she obtained a special rescript from Rome and left the convent. But the world Monica had known and forsaken in 1914 was very different to the world into which she emerged at the height of the Second World War ...This is the fascinating account of one woman's two very different lives, with revealing descriptions of the world of a novice, the duties of a nun's day, and the spiritual aspects of convent life. Interwoven with these are the trials and tribulations of coping with a new and alien world, as the author is confronted with fashions, interventions, politics and art totally unfamiliar to her. Written in the post-war years, this re-issue is as fresh and engaging today as it ever was. Humour, intelligence, an endearing humility and a searing honesty all characterize this remarkable classic, giving readers both a glimpse into a hidden world and a unique view on one more familiar.
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About the Author

Monica Baldwin (1893 1975) was the niece of former UK Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin who lived as a nun for 28 years before deciding to return to a normal life. She is the author of "The Called and the Chosen" and "Goose in the Jungle: A Flight Round the World with Digressions.""

Reviews

'What a wonderful book! Now that I have finished it I want to read it again ... whatever you think about nuns, whatever your religious views or lack of them, I don't see how you can fail to be enriched by this book.' John Betjeman 'A sympathetically written and extraordinarily interesting account of one of the strangest and most disturbing experiences a modern woman ever lived through.' Daily Mail 'Witty, enlightening, entertaining.' Daily Express 'A story brilliantly told.' Observer 'Witty and intensely moving.' Sunday Times 'Works well. Amazing.' Daily Telegraph 'Straightforward, quiet and sincere. Profoundly interesting.' The Spectator 'The book describes in fascinating detail life in an enclosed order.' Irish Times Baldwin tells her story well, and with a great deal of dry wit ... she has a fine sense not only for the strangeness of her new world, but for the naivety of her own response to it. The Tablet The contemplative life did not suit her, but she is one of its liveliest and most accessible expositors The Tablet

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