Alfonso X of Castile-León
Alfonso X of Castile-León
Royal Patronage, Self-Promotion and Manuscripts in Thirteenth-century Spain
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Acknowledgments List of figures Abbreviations Introduction: 'the king makes a book' 1. Alfonso X, his Literary Patronage and the Verdict of Historians 2. Alfonso in his Texts: literary models and royal authorship 3. Reality, Politics and Precedent in Images of Alfonso 4. Codices Laid Out for a King: the appearance and production of Alfonsine manuscripts 5. The Circulation of Alfonsine Texts: astrological works and chronicles Concluding Remarks Manuscript Sources Index

Reviews and Features

"Kirstin Kennedy's book is a good addition [to new titles on Alfonso and his work]. It is an elegantly written contribution to one specific question in the Alfonsine era: to what extent did the king himself intervene in the production of his works? Kirstin Kennedy offers a multifaceted response to this question by examining the manuscripts that, containing Alfonsine works, can also be dated to Alfonso's lifetime."
- Jesús R. Velasco, The Medieval Review, 21.09.20 (2021)

"Kennedy’s erudite book makes an important contribution for scholars interested in Alfonsine manuscripts and identifies, in a systematic and convincing way, the weaknesses of existing scholarship."
- Heather Bamford, George Washington University, Speculum 96/3 (July 2021)

Kirstin Kennedy

Alfonso X of Castile-León

Royal Patronage, Self-Promotion and Manuscripts in Thirteenth-century Spain

Today, the literary patronage of Alfonso X 'the Learned' of Castile (1252-1284) seems extraordinary for its time in the context of Europe. His cultural programme, which promoted his royal status and imperial ambitions, was hugely ambitious, and the paucity of information about the intellectual circumstances in which it took place magnifies the scope of Alfonso's achievements still further. This book argues that rather than providing a new cultural template for his kingdoms, Alfonso did little to promote institutional learning and preferred instead to direct the literary works he commissioned to a restricted, courtly audience who would understand the complex layers of symbolism in the representations of him that accompanied the texts. Despite this careful control, this book cites codicological and paleographical evidence to show that some codices traditionally ascribed to the royal scriptorium were copied at the behest of readers beyond the king's immediate circle.
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Kirstin Kennedy

Kirstin Kennedy is a curator of metalwork (specializing in silver) at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She previously held a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at King's College London, in the Department of Spanish and Spanish American Studies (2000-2003).