Secrets of Pinar's Game (2 vols)

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.

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Roger Boase, Honorary Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London. His publications include The Origin and Meaning of Courtly Love (Manchester University Press, 1977), The Troubadour Revival (RKP, 1979), Pashtun Tales from the Pakistan-Afghan Frontier (Saqi, 2003), Islam and Global Dialogue (Ashgate, 2005), and many articles on 15th-century cancionero poetry and on the expulsion of the Muslims from Spain.
''Y precisamente por estas razones (sus destinatarias femeninas, su función de pasatiempo aristocrático y su condición temáticamente marginal y dispersa) es que la presente publicación constituye una aportación de gran importancia para los estudios filológicos y para los estudios sobre la mujer europea de la Baja Edad Media y del Renacimiento temprano. Fruto de una labor tenaz a lo largo de más de una década, Roger Boase ha culminado un trabajo de edición y de exégesis encomiables''. Rafael M. Merida Jimenez, in Lectora 25, 2019.
Historians of late medieval Spain, especially the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, and all those interested in European court culture and literature during the late medieval and Renaissance period, and anyone with an interest in bestiary imagery, proverbs, jousting, poetry and the history of polyphonic music.