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Chapter Summary

This front matter section of the book on Widowhood in early modern Spain: protectors, proprietors, and patrons contains acknowledgments, genealogy charts and introduction. This study analyzes tensions and contradictions produced by the interplay of patriarchal norms and the realities of widows daily lives to demonstrate that in Castile patriarchy did not exist as a monolithic force, which rigidly enforced an ideology of female incapacity. The extensive analysis of archival documents shows widows actively engaged in their families and communities, confounding images of their reclusion and silence.

Keywords: Castile patriarchy; early modern Spain; Widowhood



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