The scholar, librarian, and Catholic Hermit Julia Bolton Holloway, Custodian of the English Cemetery in Florence, talks about her scholarship, her role as keeper of an historic cemetery, about cemeteries and libraries as vital mirrors of memory, and her project to develop a cultural heritage library documenting the Cemetery's many notable residents and their histories.
"Julia Bolton Holloway was born in London, grew up in Sussex, went to America at 16, studied at San Jose State University for the BA, and at the University of California, Berkeley, for the doctorate. Her Comparative Literature dissertation was published in three editions as The Pilgrim and the Book: A Study of Dante, Langland and Chaucer. She next published books on Brunetto Latino, a bibliography and an edition of Il Tesoretto, later a full length study of his life and writings as Twice Told Tales: Brunetto Latino and Dante Alighieri, and is currently editing Brunetto Latino's Latin and Italian Opera. She edited and translated Birgitta of Sweden's Revelations, in Saint Bride and her Book. That work led to research on Julian of Norwich, resulting in the definitive edition of the extant manuscripts in France and England with Sister Anna Maria Reynolds, C.P., and published by SISMEL, Anchoress and Cardinal: Julian of Norwich and Adam Easton, O.S.B., published by Analecta Cartusiana, ed. James Hogg, Julian among the Books: Julian of Norwich's Theological Library, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, and Mary's Dowry: Contemplative and Pilgrim Women's Writings, Analecta Cartusiana, ed. James Hogg. She completed her father's work on Elizabeth Barrett Browning and published editions of Aurora Leigh and Other Poems, Penguin, and Casa Guidi Windows (in English and Italian), Aureo Anello Books. She raised three sons, taught at Quincy University, Princeton University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she was Director of Medieval Studies. She took early retirement to enter an Anglican convent, is now a Catholic hermit in Florence, Italy, where she directs an ecumenical polyglot library and is custodian of the Swiss-owned 'English' Cemetery where Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Walter Savage Landor, Frances Trollope and many famous others, particularly slavery Abolitionists, are buried."