Catherine of Braganza
It was rarely the custom for Portuguese ladies to record, either by letters or diaries, their inner hopes and aspirations. Save for some notable exceptions to this rule few indeed are the testimonies coming down to us from the succeeding generations of princesses and ladies of title who lived, loved, and suffered in times gone by. Nor was the 17th century – so fertile in this respect in other countries, and which, with us, saw the forceful shining genius of Padre António Vieira, to cite only one example – productive of any outstanding femine contribution to the field of literature in letters or otherwise.
However, if the Portuguese woman is somewhat adverse to letter writing, there are times when her love and care oblige her to confide to pen and ink her sorrows and anxieties, and it was thus so with Catherine of Bragança, the wife of King Charles II of England.
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