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Writings, Châteaux, and Female Self-Construction in Early Modern France
Mademoiselle de Montpensier: Writings, Châteaux, and Female Self-Construction in Early Modern France examines questions of self-construction in the works of Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans, Duchesse de Montpensier (1627-1693), the wealthiest unmarried woman in Europe at the time, a pro-women advocate, author of memoirs, letters and novels, and the commissioner of four châteaux and other buildings throughout France, including Saint-Fargeau, Champigny-sur-Veude, Eu, and Choisy-le-roi. An NEH-funded project, this study explores the interplay between writing and the symbolic import of châteaux to examine Montpensier’s strategies to establish herself as a woman with autonomy and power in early modern France.
Court Ladies and Courtly Verse in Fifteenth-Century Spain
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.