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Spanish queens regnant

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun December 22nd, 2013, 5:37 am

[quote=""DanielAWillis""]Not only was she never Queen of Spain, she also never was able to exercise royal authority on her own. Due to her mental instability, she reigned under a series of regencies. She and her husband, Philip of Austria, were crowned jointly as King and Queen of Castile when her mother died, with Philip conducting all royal business in both of their names. When Philip died, a more formal regency was declared in Castile with an Archbishop trying, and failing, to maintain order. Juana's father stepped in as Regent until his death, when it passed to Juana's son and heir, Carlos.

Technically, Juana and Carlos reigned as co-heirs in both Aragon and Castile, but by this time she was completely unhinged so Carlos was the true authority. Carlos also became Holy Roman Emperor as Charles V. Needless to say, his hands were full.[/quote]
Succinctly put, Daniel. I was using 'I don't believe' more as a matter of speech. Juana la Loca is the looming shadow and political storm hanging over 500+K words of a four-novel series I've been working on for the last five years or so, so I'm intimately familiar with all the political ins and outs. The Castilians wrote lots and lots of letters, and filed even more legal cases, so there is a plethora of good stuff to pick through.
The Cleric was Cardinal Cisneros, a man of such conflicting and fascinating fanaticism that he would make a great character for a novel all in himself. Unless you meant Adrian of Utrecht, Charles' tutor, who was left as regent after Cisneros died, and had to handle the Communero Revolt.
Poor Adrian would make a good character for a novel, too--he was, to his astonishment, elected pope in absentia simply because the two warring factions could neither of them get their candidate in, and they thought he would be neutral (as a non-Italian). What they didn't know was that they had elected an incorruptible man, ad a reformer at that, and he set out to fix the problems Martin Luther had raised. Unfortunately, he died a year later.

Okay, I've aired my historical competence, now I'll drop back into my hole and keep writing. ;)

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Susan
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Post by Susan » Sun December 22nd, 2013, 1:50 pm

Juana is generally listed as a monarch of Spain. Of course, as pointed out here, her actual power was limited due to politics and her supposed mental health issues. I do question the extent of her mental health and its probable cause. It's not surprising that someone who was treated like Juana was (control by her father, husband,and son and virtual imprisonment) would have some issues. Perhaps Juana was originally suffering from depression and that was used to justify what was done to her. I just question what we know about her mental health because much of the information was coming from biased people who did not want her to have any power.
Last edited by Susan on Sun December 22nd, 2013, 4:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.
~Susan~
~Unofficial Royalty~
Royal news updated daily, information and discussion about royalty past and present
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Susan
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Post by Susan » Sun December 22nd, 2013, 4:06 pm

[quote=""MLE""]There was Queen Urraca of Castile and Leon.[/quote]

I came across a Spanish novel about Urraca: http://www.amazon.com/Urraca-Autores-Es ... rds=Urraca
~Susan~
~Unofficial Royalty~
Royal news updated daily, information and discussion about royalty past and present
http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/

DanielAWillis
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Post by DanielAWillis » Sun December 22nd, 2013, 4:42 pm

[quote=""Susan""]Juana is generally listed as a monarch of Spain. Of course, as pointed out here, her actual power was limited due to politics and her supposed mental health issues. I do question the extent of her mental health and its probable cause. It's not surprising that someone who was treated like Juana was (control by her father, husband,and son and virtual imprisonment) would have some issues. Perhaps Juana was originally suffering from depression and that was used to justify what was done to her. I just question what we know about her mental health because much of the information was coming from people who did not want her to have any power.[/quote]

This is often the case with historical figures. History after all is written by the victors and all that. But in the case of Juana, evidence is she did suffer from a mental illness. Even in today's world, she would likely have been institutionalized, at least during her later years. Descriptions of her behavior suggest a form of schizophrenia.

There very well may have been environmental factors leading to her break with reality. Her parents could not have been the easiest people to try to live up to. Some of her sisters displayed milder versions of similar behavior, again possibly brought on by dismal treatment at the hands of others.

There seems to be some suggestion it have been hereditary. For example, Juana's niece, Mary Tudor, was, by all accounts, a raving lunatic the last months of her life. When one considers the extensive inbreeding between the Castiles and the Aragons leading up to the union of Ferdinand and Isabella, it is not surprising such developments would arise. The Habsburg descendants of Juan and Philip continued these practices and soon the family began to look as deranged as some of them acted.
Daniel A. Willis
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon December 23rd, 2013, 1:13 am

Juana was well into the middle of what are now called 'Spectrum disorders'. Which include Aspergers, Kanner's Autism, Bipolar (including with psychosis), schizophrenia, and ADHD. I know 'em all-- my family is the poster child for spectrum disorders. And yes, they were all over the Trastamara / Hapsburg family. None of Juana's sisters showed any symptoms, and Mary Tudor didn't either. But Juana's grandmother (Isabella's mother) had to be locked up--and she didn't have any power to grab, she was Juan II's widow. And her grandson Carlos (son of Philip II by his cousin Maria) was a classic case. Rudolph II (Holy Roman Emperor and Juana's descendant) was stark raving nuts.

It makes for good fiction to make Juana the tragic locked-up heroine, but a close examination shows that she was, in fact, incompetent. She was always moody, but really 'flipped out' after the birth of a son, (Ferdinand, later Holy Roman Emperor) which is one of the classic indicators for adult-onset schizophrenia in women.
Last edited by MLE (Emily Cotton) on Mon December 23rd, 2013, 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon December 23rd, 2013, 1:30 am

One other debunking -- everybody likes to say that Juana probably went crazy because of the treatment that was meted out to her. But the timeline doesn't work for that. She was ill-treated by her husband, and made lots of scenes that were quite dramatic, but to all accounts she had her wits about her at the time-- especially as she handled the politics with France, where her husband was undercutting the interests of Spain.

But when her parents managed to get the couple to Spain, and then Philip left for home without her, (she being pregnant with a second son at the time) she had every advantage of treatment and power. And that was when her behavior moved over into the schizophrenic range. If you've ever watched the process happen (I have) you'd recognize it.

Although she moved in and out of sanity (typically, especially at the beginning) for the next few years, her behavior was definitely deranged.

FYI, after Philip died, it was Juana who begged her father to come back and take over her kingdom. And when the Communeros freed her and tried to put her back on the throne, she refused.

She drove poor Charles to distraction with her repeated hunger strikes. He had to return his sister (Philip's postumous child) to Juana's custody so Mom wouldn't starve herself to death. When he arrived to meet her for the first time, he was horrified to find the 11-year-old garbed like a poor Clare, barefoot even in winter, and completely lacking the education of a princess. So he compromised by giving his sister a separate household within the castle.

Charles is not the Mom-imprisoning monster type. This is a man who did his best to respect a crazy woman until she finally died. And then, free at last to do as he pleased with all his kingdoms, he divided them between his son and his brother and went to spend his final years worshiping God.

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Tue December 31st, 2013, 4:33 am

[quote=""MLE""]Juana was well into the middle of what are now called 'Spectrum disorders'. Which include Aspergers, Kanner's Autism, Bipolar (including with psychosis), schizophrenia, and ADHD. I know 'em all-- my family is the poster child for spectrum disorders. And yes, they were all over the Trastamara / Hapsburg family. None of Juana's sisters showed any symptoms, and Mary Tudor didn't either. But Juana's grandmother (Isabella's mother) had to be locked up--and she didn't have any power to grab, she was Juan II's widow. And her grandson Carlos (son of Philip II by his cousin Maria) was a classic case. Rudolph II (Holy Roman Emperor and Juana's descendant) was stark raving nuts.

It makes for good fiction to make Juana the tragic locked-up heroine, but a close examination shows that she was, in fact, incompetent. She was always moody, but really 'flipped out' after the birth of a son, (Ferdinand, later Holy Roman Emperor) which is one of the classic indicators for adult-onset schizophrenia in women.[/quote]

MLE, pardon my ignorance, but what is Kanner's? I have never heard of it.

And I agree with you completely about Juana. I remember reading a novel about Katharine of Aragon where Jean Plaidy had some disturbing scenes of Juana eating dog food and behaving oddly in England. There was no political need to have pretended she was mad!

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Tue December 31st, 2013, 4:35 am

[quote=""MLE""]I don't believe Juana was ever Queen of Spain, because she couldn't be Queen Regnant in Aragon. They followed Salic law--no inheritance by females. So in the case of King Ferdinand II of Spain and I can't remember which number of Aragon, the succession went directly to his Grandson Charles.
Spain wasn't actually unified until sometime in the 1600s. The three kingdoms of the Crown of Aragon (four, if you include Naples) each had separate Cortes, and Castile had it's own Cortes (think parliament) too. The laws were different in each.
For instance, colonizing the New World was restricted to Castilians. Aragonese, Catalans, and Valencianos were not allowed.

There was surprisingly little attempt to create a unified 'Spain' on Ferdinand and Isabella's part. But then, their thrones (particularly Ferdinand's) were always much more precarious than hindsight shows.[/quote]

Was Aragon more influenced by France than Castile? Since I know Castile did not have the Salic Law but Aragon did.

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue December 31st, 2013, 5:59 am

[quote=""Helen_Davis""]MLE, pardon my ignorance, but what is Kanner's? I have never heard of it.
[/quote]
Kanner's syndrome is classic (non-Asperger's) infantile autism -- it has quite a few forms, including savant (as in the movie Rain Man) but as I understand it, the main diagnostic difference between Kanner's and Aspergers is that in Kanner's the speech processing area is much more compromised.
I have an Asperger's nephew and a (deceased) Kanner's cousin. It is also very likely that one of my brothers, who died at age 3 of leukemia but was totally non-verbal and somewhat socially compromised, had Kanner's syndrome. Plus a bipolar (with psychosis) adult child, and 5 first cousins (all but one now deceased) with various forms of schizophrenia.
All the rest of us are merely ADHD. Except I prefer to call it FFG -- Fixed Focus Gifted. It's only a disorder if society wants you to focus on somethign that doesn't interest you! :D

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue December 31st, 2013, 6:12 am

[quote=""Helen_Davis""]Was Aragon more influenced by France than Castile? Since I know Castile did not have the Salic Law but Aragon did.[/quote]
Aragon and Castile were quite different in their customs. Castile was far more willing to become the Empire's cash cow, the cortes rubber-stamping taxes and their commerce being bled dry to stave off the Ottoman Empire. The separate cortes of the Crown of Aragon (consisting of the Kingdoms of Valencia, the Kingdom of Aragon, perts of the Kingdom of Navarre and the Duchy of Catalonia) repeatedly refused to ratify the extra taxes, and none of the kings of the 16th century were ever secure enough to force them to do so. They weren't so much influenced by France as by the Eastern Mediterranean states. Barcelona was a seafaring city even in Roman times, and they produced the first book of Maritime law, which was later adopted by everyone else. In fact, they were called the Levantine states, due to their relationship to the Levant -- Jerusalem, etc. For long after the Ottoman Empire held the Holy City, the titles of the King of Aragon included 'King of Jerusalem and Duke of Athens'.
They spoke a separate language from Castile/Leon, (our Spanish today is Castilian), Catalan, which is now the official language of the Barcelona area. You'll be snubbed and served last if you order in Spanish. Catalan reads and sounds like 'SpanFrench' but is actually a modern form of Langue d'Oc.
Really a very different culture from Castile, as different as Moorish Granada or Portugal.

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