The Mirror of Simple Souls

The Mirror of Simple Souls

By: Aline Kiner

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“A rich, surprising, and devastating story of a female institution long-forgotten.” — Marj Charlier, author of The Rebel Nun

A captivating story of love, jealousy and faith, set amid a community of independent women in medieval Paris — the perfect summer read for fans of historical fiction

This thrilling, sensual evocation of medieval Paris sold over 100,000 copies in France and offers a fascinating insight into the world of the beguines — communities of women who lived independently of men and successfully managed their own affairs all the way back in the Middle Ages.

A heretical text, a vengeful husband, a forbidden love...

It's 1310 and Paris is alive with talk of the trial of the Templars. Religious repression is on the rise, and the smoke of execution pyres blackens the sky above the city. But sheltered behind the walls of Paris's great beguinage, a community of women are still free to work, study and live their lives away from the domination of men.

When a wild, red-haired child clothed in rags arrives at the beguinage gate one morning, with a sinister Franciscan monk on her tail, she sets in motion a chain of events that will shatter the peace of this little world-plunging it into grave danger...

This rich historical drama makes a great summer read for fans of Hamnet, The Lost Apothecary, The Wolf Den, and The Yellow Bird Sings.

Details & specs

Publisher name:
Steerforth Press

Publication date:

Paperback / softback | Trade paperback (US)

Penguin Random House

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