Book details

Publication date: May 2016
Features: 4 B&W images, bibliography, notes
Keywords: French Literature / Women's Studies / Comparative Literature
Subject(s): LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 19th Century, Literary Studies, Literary Criticism, Social Sciences, Religious Studies, French Literature / Women's Studies / Comparative Literature, Literary Criticism, FICTION / Epistolary, RELIGION / Christian Life / Love & Marriage, Fiction: general & literary, French Literature / Women's Studies / Comparative Literature, Women's Studies
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Sheila Delany. Sheila Delany is Professor Emerita at Simon Fraser University. A medievalist and lifelong political activist, she has already brought one forgotten author, Osbern Bokenham, into the scholarly mainstream. Delany lives in Vancouver.

Sylvain Maréchal. Sylvain Maréchal (1750–1803) was a French essayist, poet, activist, political theorist, and editor of the journal Révolutions de Paris.

"Until recently almost none of Sylvain Maréchal’s works have been available in English, except on the Marxists Internet Archive, nor have any of the major studies of his life and works been translated. Happily, this is now being corrected by Sheila Delany, who has just published the second in a projected series of three of Maréchal’s books. Having already published a translation of the biting Anti-Saints, and with his brilliant For and Against the Bible in process, [University of Alberta Press now has published Delany’s] wonderfully presented and translated The Woman Priest."

Mitchell Abidor, Science & Society

"...a valuable addition to the quickly expanding body of literature on the role of religion in the French Enlightenment that productively showcases the writings of an author who has long been recognized in French scholarship as exceptional for his atheistic positioning in the religious and political field of his day." [Full review at]

Alicia Montoya, Reading Religion

"While the contents of The Woman Priest make for a good story (drag, drama, and death—what more can you ask for?), the astonishing complexity of the novella seems to lie not necessarily in the general plot line, but rather in the context in which the author wrote the book—as brilliantly explained in Delany’s introduction to her translation.... Delany provides the reader with a rich introduction, which proves essential to understanding the subtleties and intertextual references sown into this novella. But above all, the twenty-four-page introduction to this translation displays the work of a translator and researcher who deeply knows the author’s work and has extensive knowledge of the context in which he lived and wrote.... It is perhaps through this introduction that the translation of La femme abbé finds its real value and the reader can begin to grasp both the intention and the impact of Maréchal." Canadian Literature 232 (Spring 2017). [Full review at]

Liza Bolen

Translator’s Note

The Woman Priest

ISBNs: 9781772121230 978-1-77212-123-0 Title: the woman priest ISBNs: 9781772122879 978-1-77212-287-9 Title: the woman priest ISBNs: 9781772122886 978-1-77212-288-6 Title: the woman priest ISBNs: 9781772122893 978-1-77212-289-3 Title: the woman priest