Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

Translation of the Month

April 2016 [Posted April 2017]

Juan Rodríguez del Padrón, Triunfo de las donas / The Triumph of Ladies. Translated by Emily C. Francomano. Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality 52, 3 (2016). Available online.

Master of La Manta, Three women from the Male and Female Worthies fresco
Master of La Manta, Three women from the Male and Female Worthies fresco, ca. 1419, Castello della Manta, Italy. Identified as Deiphile, Sinope and Hippolyta (Source: italyinus.org; public domain)

Abstract: "The Triunfo de las donas (The Triumph of Ladies) (1438-1441) by Juan Rodríguez del Padrón (fl. 1440s), is among the very first contributions in Hispanic literature to the pro-feminine modality of the querelle des femmes, or querella de las mujeres. Composed as the preface and dedication to María of Aragón (1396-1445), queen consort of Juan II of Castile (1405-1454), for Rodríguez del Padrón's Cadira de honor (The Seat of Honor), a treatise in defense of noble lineages, the Triunfo de las donas asserts the superiority of women over men, and in so doing, the supremacy of Queen María over her husband, at a time when she was actively involved in the struggle for control of the Castilian throne. Rodríguez del Padrón infuses the standard pro-feminine authorities from the querelle with irony, includes unusual examples of female virtue, and employs satire, a mode more commonly associated with misogynist diatribes, as a persuasive tool. The Triunfo de las donas is consequently both orthodox and subversive. It is also a prime example of how many texts from the debate on women, though highly conventional, are situated within specific contexts and endow the old commonplaces with new meanings." -- Description from the publisher's website.

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