Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Dwarfs—and a Loca—as Ladies’ Maids at the Spanish Habsburg Courts

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

The dwarfs who lived in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish Habsburg courts have received barely any serious scholarly attention, an absence that is eloquent testimony to preconceived ideas about their insignificance to court culture. This chapter sheds light on one particular category within this group: that is the women with dwarfism who served queens and princesses as ladies' maids. The dwarfs who served female rulers merit serious inclusion in any study of ladies-in-waiting. Magdalena Ruiz had been a popular and well-connected court character in her youth. The anecdote demonstrates Magdalena's intimacy with the upper echelons of Spanish court society and her freedom of speech: only a court favourite or a loca would be permitted to make jokes of a sexual nature about members of such illustrious families as the Padillas and Bobadillas in the company of one of the king's friends.

Keywords: dwarfs; ladies-in-waiting; loca; Magdalena Ruiz; Spanish Habsburg courts



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    The Politics of Female Households: Ladies-in-waiting across Early Modern Europe — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation