This work deals with the reign of Pedro I of Castile (1350-1369), known as “The Cruel,” one of the most notorious and misunderstood figures in the annals of peninsular history. This is the first book on the subject that analyzes Pedro's rule in light of social, political, diplomatic, and economic conditions in mid-14th century Castile.
Using extant primary documentation from archival sources and the most recent findings of scholars from various fields, the book explores in detail the historical basis for Pedro's reputation and the extent to which this reputation unfairly rests on the testimony of Pero López de Ayala, the reign's principal chronicler.
The book provides fresh insights into various aspects of Pedro's career, such as his political aims, relations with religious minorities, and fiscal policies.
Clara Estow, Ph.D. (1975), Brandeis University, is Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. She has written extensively on social and cultural aspects of medieval Castile.
'The study is well written and effectively conceived, filling a void in historical scholarship in English materials, while distilling the labors of Iberian historians to update perceptions of this often rash but very contemporary ruler of the later 14th century.'
J.F. Powers, Choice, 1996.
List of Illustrations
1. The Legacy of Alfonso XI
2. The Nobility and the New Regime
3. Castile, 1351
4. Facer Justicia 5. Royal finances
6. Of Wives and Lovers
7. "Ennobler of Jews and Moors"
8. Peninsular Ambitions
9. The Mercenaries
10. Mano a Mano
Scholars and students of Castilian political, social, and economic history, the Middle Ages, the Hundred Years War, historical biography, Jewish history, the history of Spain, and the history of Spanish literature.