The Fabric of Marian Devotion in Isabel de Villena's Vita Christi

The Fabric of Marian Devotion in Isabel de Villena's Vita Christi

Lesley K. Twomey

Hardback
$90.00

Tamesis Books

Overview

Overview

First comprehensive survey of Isabel de Villena (Sor Isabel), the fifteenth-century Spanish nun and writer.
Isabel de Villena (1430-1490) is one of the most fascinating women of the Spanish middle ages. Related to the royal family, she became abbess of the Poor Clare convent, the Santa Trinitat, in Valencia in 1462, a position she held for almost thirty years until her death. Her treatise on the religious life, Vita Christi, was the first book by a woman to be printed in the kingdom of Aragon.
This is the first full-length survey in English of Isabel's life and literary works. The author pays particular attention to the way in which devotion to the Virgin Mary is manifested and described through material culture, on her rich fabrics, brocades, silks, shoes, and crown. The book thus highlights not only Isabel's distinctive contribution to the genre of the Vita Christi, but also reflects the status of Valencia as a centre for trade and producer of silks and velvets at the time, as well as its flourishing shoe-making industry.

Lesley K. Twomey is Principal Lecturer, Hispanic Studies, Northumbria University.

Details

March 2013
33 black and white illustrations
314 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monografias A
ISBN: 9781855662483
Format: Hardback
Tamesis Books
BIC DSBB, 1DSE, 2AB, 3H
BISAC REL040030, LIT011000, HIS037010
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Isabel de Villena: Her Life and Times
Reading the Vita Christi
Pure Bodies: Feeding the Soul in the Vita Christi
Veiled Bodies
Reading Red: Deepening Understanding of Red in the Vita Christi
For Richer, for Poorer: Redrawing the Boundaries in the
The Fabric of Society: Dressing, Undressing, and Gifting in Sor Isabel's Writing
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes: Stepping out in Style
The Crown of Stars and Franciscan Rosary Devotions
Literary Liturgy: Sor Isabel's Processions and Prayers
Conclusion
Appendix: selected chapters translated from the Vita Christi

Reviews

Rich in insights as the fabrics and adornments that graced the Virgin Mary in Villena's text were rich in materials and workmanship ... Nearly every page has some fascinating sidelight ... In short, this intellectually alluring book-along with the anthology of English translations of selected chapters from the Vita Christi included in an appendix - will help a significant Iberian author to become better known in the English-speaking world. EARLY MODERN WOMEN JOURNAL

The Fabric of Marian Devotion is as rich in insights as the fabrics and adornments that graced the Virgin Mary in Villena's text were rich in materials and workmanship. In addition to the persuasive nature of Twomey's overall arguments, nearly every page has some fascinating sidelight on such topics as conflicts among Valencia's guilds or the symbolic hierarchy of colors. In short, this intellectually alluring book -- along with the anthology of English translations of selected chapters from the Vita Christi included in an appendix -- will help a significant Iberian author to become better known in the English-speaking world. --Ronald E. Surtz, Princeton University

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