MARCO BARTOLI is professor of medieval history at the University of Perugia and has done extensive studies on the life of Clare of Assisi. SISTER FRANCES TERESA DOWNING, O.S.C., is guardian of a community of four Poor Clares in Hastings (Sussex), England. From Cambridge University she earned a diploma in philosophy of religion and theology, religious history, and ethics. She is completing a master's degree in philosophy of Franciscan theology and spirituality from the Franciscan International Study Centre at Canterbury, where she teaches about Clare. She wrote Living the Incarnation: Praying with Francis and Clare of Assisi and This Living Mirror: Clare of Assisi, in addition to editing Praying in the Franciscan Spirit and translating five books by Italian authors.
Bartoli offers an insightful, critical study of the woman who was called the strongest stone of the whole foundation. Those familiar with Clarian studies will find this work a welcome contribution to the ongoing reconstruction of the woman of Assisi. For the unfamiliar reader, Bartoli provides a fascinating and lucid account of one of the most remarkable women of the Middle Ages. -- Ilia Delio, O.S.F., author, Franciscan Prayer and Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love.
Clare was not Francis silent shadow nor was she a nun buried in the enclosure of a monastery. Bartoli restores the true relationship of Clare and Francis, the poor sister and the lesser brother, so close to one another in their evangelical life, and yet so different in their personalities. With Bartoli's book, the true Clare emerges. -- Jean Francois Godet-Calogeras, The Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure