Propaganda and Ideology in the Reign of Isabel I of Castile
Legitimizing the Queen deals with a genre particular to the Middle Ages: the specula principum (mirror of prince). Its importance as an object of study may be understood in light of the political instability that wracked the Castilian fifteenth century. The many works written for and dedicated to Isabel I of Castile depict her kingdom as a shipwrecked boat, a wayward realm, and a land of bankrupt people. These works suggest the kingdom's need for redemption through the strong leadership of the Catholic monarchs. These largely propagandistic works were designed to garner power and, once maintained, further Isabel's agenda. This book frames the concept of sovereignty from the theoretical perspective of the speculum principum dedicated to her. It offers a Bourdieuian approach to the more literary specula texts used to legitimize and uphold Isabel's power.
"This is a worthwhile study. It provides subtle insights into the construction of Isabel I's sovereignty, showing that there is still much to discover about the literary fashioning of this ionic female monarch, and about the demise of female sovereignty after her death."
About the author:
Cristina Guardiola-Griffiths specializes in fifteenth-century Castilian literature.
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