Winner of the 2017 La corónica International Book Award:
Chariots of Ladies: Francesc Eiximenis and the Court Culture of Medieval and Early Modern Iberia (Cornell UP, 2015)
Núria Silleras-Fernández is Associate Professor at the Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese of Spanish at the University of Colorado-Boulder, with affiliations in History and Women and Gender Studies. Her research focuses on the study of the culture, history, and literature of Medieval and Early Modern Iberia and the Mediterranean. She is particularly interested in examining court culture, gender, queenship, religion, translation, and politics. Chariots of Ladies: Francesc Eiximenis and the Court Culture of Medieval and Early Modern Iberia (Cornell UP, 2015) is the recipient of the 2017 La corónica International Book Award. Her monograph has also won the biennial Premio del Rey (American Historical Association, 2016) and has garnered Honorable Mentions from the Modern Language Association (Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize, 2016) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (Kayden Book Award, 2016).
Professor Silleras-Fernández is also the author of Power, Piety, and Patronage in Late Medieval Queenship: Maria de Luna (Palgrave: 2008; translated to Spanish as María de Luna. Poder, piedad y patronazgo de una reina bajomedieval, [CSIC: 2012]). She is coeditor of In and Of the Mediterranean: Medieval and Early Modern Iberian Studies (Vanderbilt UP, Hispanic Issues, 2015) and of Teaching Gender Through Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Texts and Cultures (Sense 2015). She is currently working on two book projects: one relating to grief, madness, and gender, and the other on the dynamics of cultural patronage.
In Chariots of Ladies, Professor Silleras-Fernández traces the development of devotion and female piety among the Iberian aristocracy from the late Middle Ages into the Golden Age, and from Catalonia to the rest of Iberia and Europe via the rise of the Franciscan Observant movement. A program of piety and morality devised by Francesc Eiximenis, a Franciscan theologian, royal counselor, and writer in Catalonia in the 1390s, came to characterize the feminine ideal in the highest circles of the Iberian aristocracy in the era of the Empire. As Eiximenis’s work was adapted and translated into Castilian over the century and a half that followed, it became a model of devotion and conduct for queens and princesses, including Isabel the Catholic and her descendants, who ruled over Portugal and the Spanish Empire of the Hapsburgs.
Silleras-Fernández uses archival documentation, letters, manuscripts, incunabula, and a wide range of published material to clarify how Eiximenis’s ideas on gender and devotion were read by Sanxa Ximenis d’Arenós, Countess of Prades), and Queen Maria de Luna of Aragon and how they were then changed by his adapters and translators in Castile for new readers (including Isabel the Catholic and Juana I of Castile), and in sixteenth-century Portugal for new patronesses (Juana’s daughter, Catalina of Habsburg, and Catalina’s daughter, Maria Manuela, first wife of Philip II). Chariots of Ladies casts light on a neglected dimension of encounter and exchange in Iberia from the late fourteenth to the mid-sixteenth centuries.
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