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Secrets of Pinar's Game (2 vols)

Court Ladies and Courtly Verse in Fifteenth-Century Spain

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Roger Boase

In Secrets of Pinar’s Game, Roger Boase is the first to decipher a card game completed in 1496 for Queen Isabel, Prince Juan, her daughters and her 40 court ladies. This game offers readers access to the cultural memory of a group of educated women, revealing their knowledge of proverbs, poetry and sentimental romance, their understanding of the symbolism of birds and trees, and many facts ignored in official sources. Boase translates all verse into English, reassesses the jousting invenciones in the Cancionero general (1511), reinterprets the poetry of Pinar’s sister Florencia, and identifies Acevedo, author of some poems about festivities in Murcia c. 1507. He demonstrates that many of Pinar’s ladies reappear as prostitutes in the anonymous Carajicomedia two decades later.

Water in Social Imagination

from Technological Optimism to Contemporary Environmentalism

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Edited by Jane Costlow, Yrjö Haila and Arja Rosenholm

Water in Social Imagination considers how human communities have known, imagined and shaped water – and how water has shaped both material culture and the imagination. Essays from diverse perspectives offer histories of water at different scales – from community water wells and sacred springs to Siberian rivers and the regulated space of the Baltic Sea. From early modernization through Soviet style technological optimism to contemporary environmentalism, water’s ideological uses are multiple. With sustained attention not just to state policy and the technologies of high modernity, but to creative resistance to utilitarian imaginations, these essays insist on fluidities of meaning, ambiguities that derive both from water’s physical mutability and from its dual nature as life necessity and agent of destruction.