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Sex In The City

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Chapter Summary

Literary output, both sacred and secular, points to the tensions produced by the gender transfiguration provoked upon widowhood. The peripatetic Castilian royal court moved to Toledo in 1538. The possibility of an unmarried, widowed noblewoman bearing a child under the noses of nuns is a scenario less shocking than it may appear such births were hardly rare. Elite widows often took on roles as guardians of virtue, just as María de Silva had worked to protect both her own reputation and that of those she cared for. Elvira López sought to mitigate charges of spiritual unorthodoxy by highlighting her adherence to the sexual morality associated with ideal widowhood. Lucía Fernández was brought before inquisitors in 1530, two years after this incident, on the charge of bigamy.

Keywords: bigamy; Elite widows; Lucía Fernández; sexual morality; Toledo; widowed noblewoman



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