Life in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal

Read by Brendan Stallard

(4.2 stars; 12 reviews)

Life in the Grey Nunnery was first published in Boston, in 1857 by Edward P. Hood, who was credited as the book's editor. It is likely that this account is by Sarah J. Richardson "as told to" Edward Hood, though it may in fact be completely fictional. It is clearly an anti-Catholic book, an example of the genre of fiction referred to as "the convent horror story."

As this summary shows, it is not known if this book is fictional or a true account.(Summary by project Gutenberg and Elaine Webb) (6 hr 58 min)


01 PARENTAGE—FATHER'S MARRIAGE 13:54 Read by Brendan Stallard
02 THE WHITE NUNNERY 18:56 Read by Brendan Stallard
03 THE NURSERY 16:38 Read by Brendan Stallard
04 A SLAVE FOR LIFE 17:11 Read by Brendan Stallard
05 CEREMONY OF CONFIRMATION 19:37 Read by Brendan Stallard
06 THE GREY NUNNERY 17:01 Read by Brendan Stallard
07 ORPHAN'S HOME 16:35 Read by Brendan Stallard
08 CONFESSION AND SORROW OF NO AVAIL 19:44 Read by Brendan Stallard
09 ALONE WITH THE DEAD 19:26 Read by Brendan Stallard
10 THE SICK NUN 24:45 Read by Brendan Stallard
11 THE JOY OF FREEDOM 16:11 Read by Brendan Stallard
12 STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND 13:13 Read by Brendan Stallard
13 LANDLADY'S STORY CONTINUED 19:45 Read by Brendan Stallard
14 THE TWO SISTERS 13:25 Read by Brendan Stallard
15 CHOICE OF PUNISHMENTS 12:54 Read by Brendan Stallard
16 HORRORS OF STARVATION 14:30 Read by Brendan Stallard
17 THE TORTURE ROOM 17:04 Read by Brendan Stallard
18 RETURN TO THE NUNNERY 18:27 Read by Brendan Stallard
19 SICKNESS AND DEATH OF A SUPERIOR 9:52 Read by Brendan Stallard
20 STUDENTS AT THE ACADEMY 7:40 Read by Brendan Stallard
21 SECOND ESCAPE FROM THE NUNNERY 8:54 Read by Brendan Stallard
22 LONELY MIDNIGHT WALK 19:58 Read by Brendan Stallard
23 FLIGHT AND RECAPTURE 16:01 Read by Brendan Stallard
24 RESOLVES TO ESCAPE 16:20 Read by Brendan Stallard
25 EVENTFUL JOURNEY 23:50 Read by Brendan Stallard
26 CONCLUSION 6:56 Read by Brendan Stallard


Upsetting and Engaging

(5 stars)

The horrors related in this narrative are so numerous as to be nearly numberless. For what a priest interprets as a cross look, a crown of thorns is pressed upon the girl’s head. She must wear it for six hours, during which time she is made to work on while the blood drips down. That’s just one horror story picked out of my notes at random. During her second escape, seeking refuge from house to house (seven to nine miles apart), she is, one can easily believe, ‘cold, hungry, almost sick, and entirely friendless.’ The storm raining down upon her head sounds like ‘the last convulsive sound of a broken heart.’ The prospect of freedom nerves her onward, however, and she, ‘a friendless wanderer,’ makes it to Vermont where she finally finds kindness and affection in a Brainard home before she is caught the second time. The punishments for that escape, including over a week of starvation, nearly kill her. She is promised, in addition, a whole year of daily punishments for this last revolt. Life in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal is agonizing to hear but riveting all the way. And so it will be gotten through in short order by those who begin to listen to it, I think. The voice of Brendan Stallard, moreover, is suitably somber and soft-spoken. This woman’s horrors are so vividly told that the book left me wiped out at the end, though I was hoping for more information about the Subject’s post-Convent life. I have read many of Poe’s horror stories, like The Pit and the Pendulum and The Premature Burial. Even stories like those are less horrific than ‘the fearful outrage…upon humanity’ related by this woman. This may beg the question to some, ‘Is the story true?’ This is a disputed question that I can find no decisive answer to. In consideration of what we already know about the Roman Church for sure, it is believable enough. Because of the research into Roman Catholicism that I have already done, my belief in this story exceeds my doubt.

Life in the gray nunnery at Montreal

(5 stars)

Wow! What an amazing and endearing encounter! I couldn't put it down. How much truth is there in this book? Also the reader was excellent. I highly recommend this read. Stop what you're doing and read it right now!

(5 stars)

Great, sad, victory from the crude church. What a very strong woman in the Lord. yes, believe these things happen. The truth always need to come out. It can be a freeing experience. Praise the Lord! for her being set free.

Pinch of Salt required

(4 stars)

Doubt this is actually true. Like The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis meets Man In The Iron Mask. A Good story though it has everything. Good reading.