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Juana I pp 181-206 | Cite as

Entrapment (1507–1511)

  • Gillian B. Fleming
Chapter
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

Abstract

The title of this chapter refers to the gradual process by which Fernando stripped Juana of her regal attributes and imprisoned her at Tordesillas (Valladolid). I begin with a recapitulation of Juana’s changing political positions from 1500 until the moment of her reunion with the king of Aragon, who had returned to Castile from a period in Naples and Aragon, and examine the reference that Juana’s Órdenes of 17 August 1507 makes to Fernando as “father of the kingdom.” I argue that, although Juana showed him a daughter’s obedience, she expected, or hoped, that he would respond by respecting her status and by helping her to govern, and that she had no wish, as is sometimes maintained, to retire into the life of pious contemplation often reserved for noble widows of the epoch. After examining the ways in which Fernando converted Juana from a sovereign queen to a prisoner, the chapter shows how the insecurity of his position in Castile, and the challenges to his governorship (from the duke of Nájera in the north to the marquis of Priego and his allies in the south) convinced him of the continuing need to keep Juana well away from political and court life. Juana’s transfer to, and imprisonment in, the royal palace of Tordesillas are described. I examine a little known letter of 10 August 1511 from her gaoler, Luis Ferrer, to Fernando, showing how they had begun to weave a web of deceit around the queen. The letter casts light on the queen’s bitterness about her imprisonment and ill treatment, the regrets she had, the mistakes she had made and the illusions she had nursed that her father would “assist her and her children and kingdoms.”

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gillian B. Fleming
    • 1
  1. 1.BrightonUK

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