Understanding the complexity of a life, real or fictional, is a delicate project. When this understanding expands to include comparative biography, which can disclose startling similarities in temperament despite differences in geography and experience, it requires an additional deftness. Moreover, when the subjects are seventeenth-century religious women whose writing-published either with consent or in posthumous and unauthorized editions-is the main source of information about their lives, sifting through details and decoding cryptic allusions call for a blend of interpretation and speculation, textual evidence and cultural context. The division between biography as an external discourse composed about the subject and autobiography as an internal account composed by the subject with idiosyncratic obscurities becomes more and more osmotic. Such interleaving of text and context, of experiences revealed or occluded, is the central concern of this chapter.