Written in 1577 and first published in English in 1852, The Interior Castle is considered one of the greatest works of Catholic spiritual prose. A painting of the spirit within a Renaissance landscape, this allegory of the soul as a castle is both poetic and didactic. Written in address of women, this work describes the seven concentric groups of mansions within the soul, each aligned to one of the seven heavens, and here is the map which gently, and with love and prayer, leads the female spirit through war, fear, and humility, into the ultimate destination-the central court and a spiritual marriage to God. The works of Spanish nun SAINT TERESA OF AVILA (1515-1582) rank among the most extraordinary mystical writings of Roman Catholicism and among the classics of all religious traditions. Her writings include The Way of Perfection and her autobiography, The Life of Saint Teresa of Jesus.