The Mirror of Simple Souls

by Aline Kiner


Published 6th April 2023



In the heart of 14th century Paris the great beguinage is an enclave, under royal protection, where single women can live apart from men. Widowed or unmarried, rich or poor, here they can study, work and trade in freedom.

Ysabel chose to withdraw here twenty years ago. She watches over the hospital and knows all the secrets of plants, nursing bodies as well as souls. For Ada as well, the beguinage is a refuge. Upon the death of her husband, killed in the battle of Courtrai, she settled here, withdrawn from the world. But a newcomer is about to shatter the tranquility of this little universe.

One morning in January 1310, Ysabel discovers a wild child in rags at the door of the beguinage. Her red hair is hidden under a coarse kerchief. Silent, rebellious, Maheut the Red has fled a terrifying arranged marriage to the lord of Hainaut, her native region. Now a sinister Franciscan monk is searching the city, relentlessly tracking her down…

Additional information

Weight 0.3 kg

Translated by Susan Emanuel