By Mary Elizabeth Perry

In 1502, a decade of accelerating pressure among Muslims and Christians in Spain culminated in a royal decree that Muslims in Castile desirous to stay needed to convert to Christianity. Mary Elizabeth Perry makes use of this occasion because the place to begin for a notable exploration of ways Moriscos, switched over Muslims and their descendants, spoke back to their expanding disempowerment in 16th- and early-seventeenth-century Spain. Stepping past conventional histories that experience emphasised armed clash from the view of victors, The Handless Maiden makes a speciality of Morisco ladies. Perry argues that those women's lives provide very important new insights at the reviews of Moriscos often, and on how the politics of faith either empowers and oppresses.

Drawing on archival records, legends, and literature, Perry exhibits that the Moriscas performed energetic resistance to cultural oppression via daily rituals and acts. for instance, they taught their young ones Arabic language and Islamic prayers, nutritional practices, and the commentary of Islamic holy days. therefore the house, now not the battlefield, turned the most important discussion board for Morisco-Christian interplay. Moriscas' stories additional exhibit how the Morisco presence supplied an essential counter-identity for a centralizing nation in early glossy Spain. For readers of the twenty-first century, The Handless Maiden increases pressing questions of ways we decide to exploit distinction and historic memory.

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