Skip to main content

The Short Chronicle

A Poor Clare’s Account of the Reformation of Geneva

Edited and Translated by Carrie F. Klaus

The Short Chronicle

A Poor Clare’s Account of the Reformation of Geneva

Edited and Translated by Carrie F. Klaus
Jeanne de Jussie (1503–61) experienced the Protestant Reformation from within the walls of the Convent of Saint Clare in Geneva. In her impassioned and engaging Short Chronicle, she offers a singular account of the Reformation, reporting not only on the larger clashes between Protestants and Catholics but also on events in her convent—devious city councilmen who lied to trusting nuns, lecherous soldiers who tried to kiss them, and iconoclastic intruders who smashed statues and burned paintings. Throughout her tale, Jussie highlights women’s roles on both sides of the conflict, from the Reformed women who came to her convent in an attempt to convert the nuns to the Catholic women who ransacked the shop of a Reformed apothecary. Above all, she stresses the Poor Clares’ faithfulness and the good men and women who came to them in their time of need, ending her story with the nuns’ arduous journey by foot from Reformed Geneva to Catholic Annecy.

First published in French in 1611, Jussie’s Short Chronicle is translated here for an English-speaking audience for the first time, providing a fresh perspective on struggles for religious and political power in sixteenth-century Geneva and a rare glimpse at early modern monastic life.

208 pages | 1 halftone | 6 x 9 | © 2006

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe

History: European History

Religion: Christianity

Women's Studies


"This is a relevant primary source for undergraduate courses on a variety of early modern topics, including the Reformation and the roles of women in early modern Europe. It will give students a sense of what life was like in a sixteenth-century convent; . . . a specific understanding or how the Protestant Reformation offended faithful Catholics; and a vivid pictue of the kind of struggle that could occur when cities chose to become officially Protestant. . . . Klaus’s translation will immeasurably enliven and enrich any course on sixteenth-century Europe or early modern women. It will help bring the divisiveness of the Reformation and the experiences of early modern women to life not only for undergraduates, but for all readers."

Karen E. Spierling | H-France Review

"[The chronicle] presents the early stages of the Reformation through the eyes of a despairing, frightened, but ultimately brave woman. It has great value as that. . . . It is a rare treat when historians and students of Reformation or religious history are presented such materials."

Andrew A. Chibi | Sixteenth Century Journal

"Excellent material for courses in women’s history and Reformation religious life."

Elsie McKee | Religious Studies Review

"This translation is a work of art thast truly provides a comprehensible, living voice. . . . Jussie’s is an individual perspective with which students should  be able to identify, and the descriptions of ritual, piety, violence, and verbal exchanges make for compelling reading. . . . I am thrilled and grateful that, because of the affordable price, I will be able to read it with students in my Reformation history courses."

Susan R. Boettcher | H-Catholic Book Review

Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Introduction
Volume Editor’s Introduction
Volume Editor’s Bibliography
Note on Translation
The Short Chronicle
Series Editors’ Bibliography

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press