Full Name de la Cruz, Sor Juana
Birth Date 1651-11-12
Death Date 1695-04-17
Birth Place Tepetlixpa (Mexico)
Death Place Mexico City (Mexico)

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was born out of wedlock in Mexico, when it was still a colonial territory of Spain. Some biographies indicated that her mother was part Nahuatl, the Indigenous peoples of the region. In 1656, she was sent to Mexico City by her mother to live with her maternal aunt. Sor Juana mostly taught herself since she had little access to formal education as a female. In 1664, Sor Juana entered the Viceroyal court of Antonio Sebastián Álvarez de Toledo as a lady-in-waiting, where she developed a fairly supportive intellectual network, including Don Carlos Sigüenza y Góngora, a prominent Spanish poet. In 1669, in searching for the autonomy necessary to study, she moved into the Convent of San Jerónimo of the Hieronymite order and took her vows as a nun there. Sor Juana remained cloistered in this convent, for the rest of her life. Sor Juana wrote over 200 works, often in groups of poems and villancicos, but also in a variety of literary genres, including essays, plays, and letters. These works touched upon topics ranging from religion to philosophy to even secular love. In 1690, Bishop of Puebla, under the pseudonym of Sor Filotea, criticized Sor Juana for her pursuits of secular studies as a nun, and for her writing, especially of poetry. In her response to this attack, Sor Juana mounted a defense of women’s right to study and to teach. This work, La Repuesta (The Response of the Poet), was published posthumously in 1700.

Created 2017-01-11, 10:49:44
Updated 2021-08-06, 03:09:04