An election is held at the abbey of Crewe and the new lady abbess takes up her high office with implacable serenity. This is a satirical fantasy about ecclesiastical and other kinds of politics. The author has also written "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" and "Girls of Slender Means".
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Published in 1974 and inspired by Watergate, Muriel Spark's Abbess of Crewe is much more amusing and infinitely drier. It transpires that Alexandra, the title character, has bugged and videotaped the Abbey--except for the confessionals and chapel--with electronic "devices fearfully and wonderfully beyond the reach of a humane vocabulary." After her only rival decamps for London and the arms of a Jesuit, police and newspapers swoop in. All the while, the Abbess (an adherent of Machiavelli, The Art of War, and the Modernist poets) keeps her cool, sacrificing her confederates as necessary and trying to assure herself of helicopter-hopping Gertrude's loyalty. (Gertrude is off curing cannibals of their customs and calls in occasionally from places whose unpronounceable names will soon be replaced by other equally unpronounceable names.) Spark's nuns on the run are more than stand-ins for the sweaty American President and his operatives; the satire extends to Anglo-snobbism and -Catholicism. The Abbess explains to the Pope that "electronic surveillance (even if a convent were one day to practise it) does not differ from any other type of watchfulness, the which is a necessity of a Religious Community; we are told in the Scriptures 'to watch and to pray,' which is itself a paradox."From the Back Cover:
An elegant fable about intrigue, corruption, and electronic surveillance, 'The Abbess of Crewe' (1974) is set in an English Benedictine convent. Steely and silky Abbess Alexandra has bugged the convent, and rigged her election. But the cat gets out of the bag, and--plunged into scandal--the serene Abbess faces a Vatican inquiry.
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Descripción 1975-10-30., 1975. Estado de conservación: New. Penguin Books Ltd. New Ed. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 112pp. . Nº de ref. de la librería NF-1017972