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Introduction to María de San José Salazar (1548–1603)

Introduction to María de San José Salazar (1548–1603)

(p.1) Introduction to María de San José Salazar (1548–1603)
Book for the Hour of Recreation
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the life of María de San José Salazar, her origins, writing, and her Book for the Hour of Recreation, which voices the concerns of a woman who was content to work within the parameters of what she understood to be the non-negotiable limitations on women's roles during the Catholic Reformation. Her poetry demonstrates that she had mastered a wide variety of metrical forms, from the Italianate sonnet to the folkloric Castilian villancico. The absence of genealogical records for her family suggests that María was an illegitimate child of a highly placed member of Doña Luisa's household. In 1562, Doña Luisa asked the Carmelite provincial of Castile to allow Teresa de Jesús, a nun from Avila with a growing renown for saintliness, to stay with her in Toledo. María relates that she and her companions were fascinated by the nun and more than once spied on her through cracks in the door as she prayed in ecstasy.

Keywords:   María Salazar, Hour of Recreation, women's roles, Catholic Reformation, poetry, metrical forms, Italianate sonnet, villancico, Teresa de Jesús

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