The first social history of its kind in any language, this is a fascinating account of Spain¿s passage from the Middle Ages to modernity.
From the ¿street theatre¿ of village carnivals to the violence of the Spanish Inquisition, and revealing everyday life from the court to the brothel, Spanish Society 1400 - 1600 explores the changing relationships between society¿s haves and have-nots.
With pen portraits of major historical figures such as St Teresa and Torquemada, and including sections on diet and health, honour and sexuality, Ruiz paints a vivid picture of a passionate history.
Ruiz (history, U. of California, Los Angeles), in writing this social and economic history, departs from traditional scholarship in two ways; first in questioning the importance of the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella as a watershed of change and second by envisaging social change as occurring independently of such political watersheds. The result is an intriguing analysis that focuses very closely on the most basic elements of people's lives<-->geography, social divisions, festivals and power, festivals of faith, the nature and place of violence in everyday life, official violence and its resistance, eating and dressing, and popular culture. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)