More than Muses

Leonor López de Córdoba

Leonor López de Córdoba (1362?-1420)

Salid Señores y veréis la más desventurada desamparada e más maldixa muger del


—Leonor López de Córdoba

Miscellaneous Works by Leonor López de Córdoba


Leonor López de Córdoba is the first woman Castilian author of whom we have record. While she apparently dictated her memoir, that should not diminish the milestone she set by speaking and having her feelings and experiences committed to writing. Born in 1362 into the household of Pedro I of Castile (Peter the Cruel), her memoir opens a unique window into the cultural upheaval of her time, from the fratricide of Enrique II that resulted in the deaths of her entire family to the bubonic plague that decimated Castile with the rest of Europe and on to the implications of the Jewish massacres of 1391. Throughout her tumultuous account, she remains ardent devotee of the Virgin Mary and a staunch defender of her rights as a disenfranchised member of the royal court. The chronicle of Juan II also mentions her as a favorite of Catalina of Lancaster prior to the conspiracy that led her to dictate her story. Along with the historical value of her memoir, she also demonstrates artistic prowess in the pathos she invokes that anticipates the mystical and self-depricating aspects later women's autobiographies such as Teresa de Cartagena and Teresa de Avila.


26 July 2022

Last Updated

26 July 2022