Hills, H., Invisible City: The Architecture of Devotion in Seventeenth-Century Neapolitan Convents, Oxford University Press, 268 pp.;44 b. & w. & 10 col. plates. 2005.
Winner of the Weiss / Brown Award in support of outstanding works of scholarship of European culture pre-1700, 2003, The Newberry Library, Chicago; Winner of the Best Book Prize, 2004, Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, USA.
It has been widely and very favourably reviewed in academic journals in the UK, USA and Italy, encompassing history of art, history, religious studies and gender studies and in Women’s Art Journal. These include Napoli Nobilissima (‘indispensable’); Rivista Storica Italiana; Reviews of New Books (‘Hills’ extraordinary study is a nuanced and innovative incarnation of the secular city from its sacred recesses that should have broad appeal and wide-ranging influence. Invisible City is a brilliant, stunning book’); Church History (‘a very important exploration of the complex nexus between sacred architecture, gender relations, and lineage politics…wonderful’) , Renaissance Quarterly; Confraternitas (‘a meticulously researched and well-crafted analysis of the complex interrelationships between gender, social class, and monastic architecture […] What results from this masterful synthesis is a model for excavating the complexities of premodern convent life and suggestions of intriguing possibilities for future research’), Urban History (‘pioneering’); and the Institute of Historical Research on-line book reviews (‘marvelously interesting’). Reviewers noted that the book will stimulate scholarship in its own and related fields and approaches
This book formed the inspiration for Clausura Sconfinata, a performance of contemporary dance and early modern conventual music, directed by Julia Pond, performed by the Isadora Duncan Dance Company (NYC) and the Cappella Artemisia (Bologna), performed in Narni, Italy in 2009
Department of History of Art University of York,