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Taxonomic and Intellectual Perspectives
Exceptional Crime in Early Modern Spain accounts for the representation of violent and complex murders, analysing the role of the criminal, its portrayal through rhetorical devices, and its cultural and aesthetic impact.
Proteic traits allow for an understanding of how crime is constructed within the parameters of exception, borrowing from pre-existent forms while devising new patterns and categories such as criminography, the “star killer”, the staging of crimes as suicides, serial murders, and the faking of madness. These accounts aim at bewildering and shocking demanding readers through a carefully displayed cult to excessive behaviour. The arranged “economy of death” displayed in murder accounts will set them apart from other exceptional instances, as proven by their long-standing presence in subsequent centuries.
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.