La Nostalgie du Désert the Eremitical Ideal in Castile During the Golden Age

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"This remarkable interdisciplinary work explores the ideal of eremitism as a desire to seek spiritual perfection in the isolating environment of desert and grotto. With great personal sensitivity and intellectual prowess, Alain Saint-Saëns demonstrates that the model of ascetic worship and discipline worked out by early church fathers was a strong and fervent preoccupation of the Spanish people in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. . . . He has drawn for us a coherent account of the enormously rich and varied ways in which Christian ascetic practices have shaped the imagination of Counter-Reformation Spain." - Sixteenth Century Journal

"This is a book on the cutting edge, for it develops within the borders of three spheres: classical religious history, the history of Mentality, and art history. A difficult yet very well done exercise thanks to a fluid style that abounds in successful expressions, greatly suited to the contents." - Bartolomé Bennassar

"This book is a major contribution to the history of Spanish Catholicism and to the Counter-Reformation. Alain Saint-Saëns' approach is bold and daunting to timid souls. Few historians indeed would have had the energy and patience to compile such data from a miscellany of sources, let alone interpret it and, finally, synthesize with yet other networks of information. This is genuinely original; overall this is the most successful interplay among art history, literature and social history that I have ever seen." - William Monter

"En La Nostalgie de Désert, logra Alain Saint-Saëns exposiciones muy claras y muy sugestivas; la mejor prueba son los capítulos doctrinarios de su libro, donde resultan nítidos los conceptos más abstrusos. Saint-Saëns es reconocido entre los más capaces y más prometedores especialistas de la España del Siglo de Oro." - Felipe Ruiz MartÍn, Miembro de la Real Academia de Historia de España

"Through impressive research, stimulating analysis and elegant prose, the author crosses yet another frontier to claim his place as a truly original scholar." - Mary Elizabeth Perry

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