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Textiles as social texts: syphilis, material culture and gender in Golden Age Spain.

The social history of medicine grew in the 1970s as part of a much wider turn in scholarship towards the "social question" and has not looked back. In an energizing, eclectic fashion, the field has grown exponentially and incorporated insights, theories, and methodologies from, among others, the history of gender, the body, and culture. (1) Long-gone are the days when historians of medicine solely focused on the development of medical theory and practice. Today we have greater knowledge of the evolution of the medical profession itself, including its hierarchies and the often uneasy coexistence with unregulated healers. (2) We also have a much better understanding of hospitals as institutions invested in control (3), the manner in which the state responded to disease (4), and the way in which disease itself was constructed and how these discursive practices changed over time. (5) In the emerging subfield of patient-centered history, Roy Porter's seminal scholarship has led to a variety of fascinating works on their resistance to institutional methods of control, their conceptions and understanding of disease--often heavily reliant on alternative healing practices--and even their complex views on the body. (6) The linguistic turn, the influence of Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish, and the incorporation of Gramscian models of hegemony into historical research have especially colored the aforementioned themes and privileged research questions on the processes of medicalization, social control, and the malleability of medical categories. In short, social historians of medicine have engaged in a long-term project that took seriously the contingent, power-laden nature of linguistic constructions to better nuance our understanding of the social processes embedded in the language of healthcare and disease.

And yet, despite such complex approaches to textual interpretation, when it comes to the clothing early modern hospital patients wore, most scholarship has remained surprisingly uncomplicated. Except for recent findings that suggest some social variability in patient populations under specific circumstances, the poverty of early modern hospital patients is such an unquestioned truism that is has become an assumption. (7) Thus, analyses of patient textiles usually focus on the tattered state of their clothing to conclude, unsurprisingly, that patients were, indeed, poor. (8) Expectations and data seem to be of one mind, with little more to add. Because we assume the poverty of hospital patients, we seldom look beyond the state of their clothing and consider that the way patients dressed as they entered a hospital was intertwined with their social selves and how they negotiated their place in a wider community. If the interpretation of texts as linguistic constructions has yielded such fruitful findings, is it not time that we also started considering textiles as texts? Historians of material culture, and especially clothing, have certainly done so, and there is no reason why the social history of medicine should not follow suit. (9)

This article examines textiles as social texts in the lives of patients seeking care at Toledo's sole venereal disease healthcare institution, the Hospital de Santiago, in the mid seventeenth century. (10) The one surviving patient admissions book, covering 1654-65, provides data that necessitates such a different approach because it does not easily fit into the aforementioned pattern of easy classifiable poverty. (11) Indeed, though individuals that seem plucked from the worst stereotypes of the hungry, poverty-stricken masses make copious appearances wearing clothing so ragged notaries refused to describe it, others provide sartorial images more difficult to interpret. Specifically, female patients from Toledo display such sartorial elegance and luxury that it behooves a closer examination of the cultural expectations placed on them, the socioeconomic pressures they faced, and the way their garments framed their public image. In a context of increasing conspicuous consumption closely tied to the representation of status, female patients' dress constituted body scripts--how others were meant to read them--that emphasized respectability. (12)

Cultural Models affecting Female Syphilis Patients

The Hospital de Santiago served as the sole provider of syphilis care for Toledo and its hinterland since the year 1500, when the Catholic Monarchs entrusted this institution with this exclusive mission after centuries of providing care for wounded knights of the military order of St. James. (13) Thanks to extensive rural and urban properties as well various rights on merchandise taxes, the hospital asserted itself well in this new task. (14) By the seventeenth century, though affected by Toledo's economic decline, the hospital was still able to provide free healthcare for syphilis which included both treatment with medications such as mercury, guaiac, and sarsaparilla as well as room and board for the duration of a patient's stay. Although the hospital was no longer bursting at the seams by this time given Toledo's depopulation, it still admitted almost 4000 individuals between 1654 and 1665. (15) In a city that prided itself in its extensive charitable institutions, Toledo's royally appointed city-council chairman, corregidor Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, counted the Hospital de Santiago among its most important healthcare institutions in a 1628 speech due to its size and the patient population it served. (16)

One of these patients, whose admittance reflects the sartorial elegance many displayed, was Dona Isabel Jimenez Tirado. September 15, 1656, signaled the start of the fall curing season when the Hospital de Santiago would open its doors to patients seeking treatment for venereal disease. By morning, Isabel waited alongside a good crowd under the watchful eyes of an imposing St. James in has relief for hospital officials to admit them. (17) But unlike the women from countryside hamlets who were dressed modestly, Isabel wore garments emphasizing her station: silk stockings, a woolen petticoat, a silk bodice, and two floor-length gowns, an inner woolen one and an outer one of blue damask. Finally, the black silk cloak, indispensable to any well-bred urban woman, completed the picture Dona Isabel wished to project--that of a reputable lady. (18)

The degree to which Isabel's image corresponded with her economic reality is difficult to determine and points to the problems of considering textiles solely as evidence of status. On the one hand, some of the garments she wore were probably out of reach for many urban poor. In fact, the cost of the silk cloak alone Isabel so proudly displayed represented almost one year's salary for a servant woman. (19) Moreover, based on the dowry agreement Isabel's mother had forged with her daughter's fiancee, surgeon Juan de Frutos, but one year before, Isabel seems to have owned a host of silk garments, fine jewelry and furniture difficult to reconcile with a life of economic necessity. (20) On the other hand, if we consider that almost one quarter of her dowry of 426 ducats and almost all the cash-on hand was drawn from a lottery she won for reputable maidens from a respected local convent, the specter of the Jimenez Tirado family belonging to the malleable category of the shamefaced poor is raised. Unlike the urban destitute who had few economic means, the shamefaced poor constituted reputable families who, due to varying circumstances such as Toledo's economic decline, found themselves unable to lead the life their station required. (21) Whence the hushed charity provided for crucial life-situations like a dowry. Ultimately, despite the copious information, both material and notarial, we have on Isabel, her economic status remains slippery at best.

But the question of whether Isabel was wealthy or not, shamefaced poor or financially comfortable, obscures the fact that her garments speak to more than just economic status, mainly the image she wished to project. Thus, her case is even more interesting considering her active choices in seeking care. Her surgeon husband could have treated her at home, but she nonetheless chose hospital treatment. And in addition to wearing the urban matron's requisite silk cloak, she chose to showcase her status by donning the damask gown listed among her dowry's prized possessions, rather than any of the other two less expensive woolen gowns she owned. (22)

Isabel had chosen to dress up for the occasion. And when we examine the larger patterns Toledo female patients exhibited, we find that she was not alone. Though perhaps wealthier than other female patients, she was by no means exceptional in her efforts to showcase her resources, her status, her identity. Like Isabel, most women who sought succor for their venereal ailments wore garments that whenever possible conveyed wealth and luxury upon entering this institution. Some did so in true style, wearing reams of silks, expensive passamanterie, gold and silver accessories. Others, while wearing garments that had seen better days, still managed to have that one note of luxurious wealth--usually a long silk cloak--that conveyed respectability. (23)

Women's material culture was connected to representational strategies because public comportment and image were read closely, especially in a situation like accessing the Hospital de Santiago. Indeed, entering the hospital was not an anonymous process. Rather than hidden from public view outside the city walls, the hospital was located but fifty meters from Toledo's main square, Zocodover. Even today, one need just walk a few steps downhill from the square to where, until its demolition in the nineteenth century, the hospital stood, perched above the city walls and overlooking the flowing Tajo below. Few, in a place so public, could have entered the hospital unnoticed. And during this time, the street served as an arena where reputation was continuously assessed, often brawled over, and negotiated through public rituals and rules of precedence. (24)

The context in which female patients deployed garments as social texts to convey familial status was one of cultural pressures that informed their public access to venereal disease care. Indeed, despite the myriad examples of women like Isabel Jimenez who sought care openly, many women failed to do so. (25) Husbands of female patients were 2.3 times more likely than wives of male patients to enter the Hospital de Santiago. In this vein, consider the curious case of Toledo's Elena Rodriguez. Her husband, Juan Sanchez de Palencia was treated at the hospital in 1658. By 1663, however, we find an already widowed Elena herself on the verge of death and making a will. Given her husband's syphilis, chances are Elena was dying of the same disease, and yet she never sought care at the Hospital de Santiago. Where did she do so? A clue in her will points to the Hospital del Rey, an institution for incurable diseases that did not admit syphilis patients. (26) Although she gave to various charities in her will, only the Hospital del Rey received some monies, 300 reales. Was she thankful for treatment received there despite that hospital's policy not to admit patients with syphilis? (27) Although we cannot conclusively agree, the evidence does suggest, at least, an issue on Elena's part with seeking care at the Hospital de Santiago.

The problem that women who required public treatment for syphilis faced was that, from their point of view, no truly useful models existed. Effectively, all the cultural models that framed female syphilis sufferers hinged on women's sexuality. For better or worse, no matter women's willingness to practically snub prescriptions, the discursive association of female sexuality with personal and familial reputation presented a disincentive to seek public treatment for syphilis. While it is obvious that the women who sought care at the Hospital de Santiago effectively did not share these prescriptive views, the myriad ways the community read their very public entrance into the institution potentially hindered their access to healthcare. None of the available models for female syphilitics--shameless prostitute, virtuous maiden, or wronged wife--provided the needed practical framework to access healthcare.

That all these cultural frames available to women hinged on sexuality reflects the understanding of syphilis as a venereal and moral disease from the moment it struck in epidemic fashion in the 1490s. In a 1497 treatise, physician Francisco Lopez de Villalobos incorporated sexuality in addition to traditional theories of miasma, or bad air, into his etiology of the disease. Not only, he argued, did the humoral imbalance starting in the liver manifest itself first in the sexual organs, but those who frequently enjoyed intercourse with women weakened their bodies, rendering them susceptible to the illness. (28) Furthermore, as a Christian scientist, he agreed with theological opinions whereby "the said illness has arrived due to the lust in which people today sin, an appropriate and most just sentence, for such the sin, such the penance." (29) Connecting sexual behavior and disease, Villalobos not only confirmed prevalent opinion and observable data, but framed the ill as sinners.

As elsewhere in Europe, however, the confluence of syphilis and Christian notions of sin meant women were increasingly blamed. (30) Specifically, prostitutes emerged as the central cultural model of female venereal disease sufferer. They represented an easy target because Renaissance physicians increasingly constructed the female body as the site of syphilitic infection, an object that through its pollution spread disease to innocent men. The influential Spanish writer, Rui Diaz de la Isla, proposed that physicians regularly examine prostitutes to prevent the spread of syphilis. (31) Renowned Valencian surgeon juan Calvo chided his male readership about re-infection for "if those who are cured later have it again, it is because they (like a dog to vomit) return to have sexual excess with infected women, who will once, again, and many times infect them." (32) Calvo's paraphrasing of the biblical proverb "As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly," (Proverbs 26:11) resonates because of its debasing objectification of women.

Such assessments were translated into specific policy on infected prostitutes. As early as 1502, Antoine de Lalaing, traveling with Philip the Fair's court, visited the Valencian public brothels and remarked that two physicians inspected the women weekly, sending those infected for treatment. By 1512, the city's General Hospital devoted a specific ward to this end. Valencian authorities eventually required prostitutes to present health certificates before joining brothels." In Toledo, the city council incorporated Philip II's 1571 provision outlining the management of brothels and, thus, also participated in the bureaucratization of prostitutes' bodies. Accordingly, it contracted a physician and a surgeon to visit brothels monthly, identify the infected women and send them for treatment. (34) At the same time, the administrator of the Hospital de Santiago also acted as the overseer for the city's own Magdalene house, Our Mother of Piety founded in 1550, thereby further cementing the public connection between syphilis, prostitutes, and the hospital. (35)

Such persistent institutional and medical identification of syphilis with female prostitution echoed in literary culture. Picaresque novels, relishing in tales of the Spanish underworld, often framed prostitutes as diseased. Certainly allusions in La Celestina to popular remedies for venereal sores point to a subtle undertone of syphilitic infection. (36) The memorable La Lozana andaluza, considered a literary hallmark for the connection between syphilis and prostitution, focuses on the adventures of a Sevilian prostitute in Rome, complete with venereal infection, its consequences, and remedies. (37) Cervantes' El casamiento enganoso reads as a cautionary tale for men against the swindling deceptions of syphilitic prostitutes turned wives. Though less known, Juan Marti's apocryphal Guzman de Alfarache (1602) also provides a fascinating window into the unstable boundary between prostitute and honorable woman in relation to disease. (38)

Upon visiting Madrid, Guzman takes an evening stroll along the Prado only to face both tantalizing sensuality and terrifying illness in a prostitute he encounters in a dark corner. Guzman falls for her beautiful ivory hands and rich seductive voice yet, unable to see her features clearly, and thereby the truth "regarding such merchandise," checks himself. Eventually he moves along for, despite his powerful desire, "I sensed such a pestilential odor when getting closer to her." Having come so perilously close to woman as tempting sin and polluting disease, the protagonist then launches into an invective on female licentiousness. "Women do not care for their health or that of others, for we see that from their great excesses of vice, they all burst with syphilis and infect those who touch them," thunders Guzman, effectively transposing the problem of syphilitic infection from one prostitute to all women, and intentionally blurring the differences between both categories. (39)

The focus on prostitution as the source of syphilitic ills did not make this model attractive to everyday women seeking public treatment. Not only was the hospital already associated with prostitution through its connection to Toledo's Magdalene House, as we have seen, but "prostitute" constituted the most common insult that could sully a woman's reputation. Indeed, inquisitorial defendants often accused female witnesses of prostitution or loose sexual behavior as a way of discrediting their testimony. (40) Writing on women, Toledo's own Horozco spared no harshness, calling them, among other things, "balding and hungry whores," in reference to the loss of hair from syphilis. (41) Moreover, commenting on the royal court's stay in Toledo in 1560, he launched into an invective against the prostitutes who descended on the city and spread venereal disease. (42)

Not surprisingly, then, few women attending hospital wore garments identified with prostitution. In typical Renaissance zeal for outward markers of deviance, the Toledo city council had mandated that prostitutes should identify themselves with yellow mantillas, or short cloaks. (43) Despite the dizzying array of colors available in women's garments, and the thousands of items described in hospital records, few patients wore yellow. (44) In fact, only two women appear wearing the yellow mantilla: Antonia Serrano, a single woman, and the married Maria Gonzalez. Both women came from Madrid, but Antonia resided in Toledo. (45) It is hard to know what to make of these markers of prostitution. Although Philip IV's moralizing reforms of the 1620s had officially banned brothels throughout Spain, prostitution continued operating either clandestinely or with tacit support from city governments. These two women might very well have been prostitutes advertising their services through their clothing. Certainly others could have read these body scripts this way. Regardless, both the negative connotations of prostitution and the official crackdown on it meant association with it through the color yellow was sparse.

The deliberate avoidance of associations with prostitution makes sense considering that almost half of female patients were single. Premarital sexuality, even if tacitly accepted under some circumstances such as a promise of marriage, remained publicly problematic and potentially detrimental to reputation. (46) Fortunately, medical literature provided single women with a possible model for syphilitic infection: the virtuous maiden who acquired syphilis through no fault of her own. Physicians had long worried about the detriment such a rapidly expanding venereal disease could cause to the reputation of society's worthier members. The explanation for such widespread syphilis among the reputable was the ease of contagion. Thus, Diaz de la Isla proposed that, not only touching an ulcer, but also contact with the personal items of the ill could prove contagious. Thereby, "one need not presume that the religious, maidens, infants, and most chaste persons who acquire this disease, did so through ugly or dishonest contagion." (47) This statement, as a reasonable alternative to sexual transmission, would become the standard disclaimer in future Spanish medical discussions of syphilis to the visible infection of maidens. (48)

How would have the public read the entrance of supposed maidens into a syphilis hospital? While the hospital enjoyed an excellent reputation for quality care, there are indications that some suspicion surrounded its patients. (49) Certainly, the hospital's connection to Toledo's Magdalene House could not have helped matters for single women seeking care there. Moreover, the satirical work on a female syphilitic La picara Justina, set in Toledo and drawn from a wealth of literary and popular sources, provides a possible window into attitudes towards the hospital's patients. (50) Referring to a proverb apparently popularized in the Hospital de Santiago, "the poxed are noble ecclesiastics and sweet-sounding birds," Justina argues this was said because syphilitics have no problem speaking of themselves and others publicly and "with no care miss mass and without shame their reputation." (51) With the same gritty voice full of local color as characters in other Golden Age works on the subject of the Spanish underworld, Justina's assertion on the shamelessness of syphilis patients could very well have been drawn from real Hospital de Santiago patients.

Regardless, the evidence available makes it difficult to tell whether single women at the hospital attempted to claim the virtuous maiden model of syphilis sufferer. Because no external markers, aside from the garments of a nun or a beguine, existed to identify the celibate, the principal drawback with the concept of the syphilitic maiden physicians touted remained its interiority, its lack of practical ways of asserting it publicly beyond the grasp of malicious gossip. Hospital records demonstrate the difficulty of effectively constructing an image of maidenhood so dependent on the interpretive goodwill of others. The notary accepting incoming patients classified everyone under the legal categories of single, married, or widowed. But, interestingly enough, few women appear in the hospital record as doncellas, or maidens. Only five females fall under this category--two from Toledo and three from the countryside. Some might well have been prepubescent children infected with congenital syphilis. At least one of them, however, Maria de Guzman, appears in notarial records renting a home in 1656, five years before she sought treatment. (52) For a society that encouraged celibacy, believed in nonsexual syphilitic infection, and suffered a sharp demographic imbalance in favor of women, it is nonetheless surprising that so few women appear as maidens in the hospital record. The problem for single women, even if they had wished to self identify as such, consisted in the medical exam all patients had to undergo before formal admittance. (53) Through it, the notaries would be well aware of the infection's often sexual nature upon recording the entry.

Married women with syphilis also had an available popular and literary model. But it was complex and unstable. Given the common practice of men seeking sexual pleasure outside marriage, one might expect women to be cast as wronged wives. (54) For instance, Tirso de Molina's Santo y Sastre places the maiden Dorotea in such a potential context. As she reads a letter from a suitor seeking marriage and expressing what he will give her, a passerby interrupts and yells "wood and possessiveness!" in reference, according to Dorotea's interlocutor, to a jealous husband and the syphilis he will bring, as per the use of Holy Wood to treat the disease. (55) In his collection of popular proverbs, Toledo's Horozco interprets "Ah, the times a man brings to his home the cause of his tears," as possibly referring to the man who, having "nibbled" here and there unfortunately brings syphilis into his home. (56)

Horozco's gallant attitude to men's pecadillos contrasts heavily with the sharp condemnations of women he consistently plucks from popular proverbs and underscores how easily a wronged wife could turn into a culpable one. Thus, he prefaces the syphilitic interpretation of the above proverb with a more standard assessment of the adulterous wife who cuckolds the husband after he foolishly brings a friend home. Probably a syphilitic himself, he expressed his little sympathy for wayward women in proverbs such as "A great treasure is the good woman and a great pestilence the bad one," which dwelled mostly on women's ethical failings, carnal sensuousness, and the moral and bodily ruin they brought to their husbands. (57) Moreover, the one ritualized, public occasion when a marriage's dirty secrets were displayed to popular ridicule was, not surprisingly, Castile's version of the charivari when the cuckolded husband would be paraded through the streets, as his adulterous wife--who would later be shamed herself--beat him. (58) Thus, although common sense could often point to philandering husbands' culpability for venereal infection, Castilian civic culture focused on wives' foibles and sexual sins and could only have complicated matters for women entering the Hospital de Santiago and thus airing their sexual lives for public fodder.

The long standing literary tradition on the danger of adulterous wives further buttressed these assessments. Cervantes' aforementioned work, El casamiento enganoso, remains the best known on the syphilitic wife. The protagonist, lieutenant Campuzano, cuts a sympathetic figure as a man deceived by a swindling woman. Indeed, upon meeting Estefania de Cayzedo, Campuzano immediately courts the well-dressed lady, and eventually agrees to marry her upon the promise of a substantial dowry. The situation, however, quickly unravels, as the newlyweds are forced to leave the luxurious home Estefania had used as a front for her scheme. Once alerted to the discovery of her ploy, she escapes after purloining what meager possessions Campuzano owns, leaving him with not a penny to his name and a venereal infection to boot. The story closes with Campuzano finishing his tale to a friend, just outside Valladolid's syphilis hospital, wronged and deceived by a conniving woman.

Cervantes' work was part of a wider theme on sinful, swindling, and deceiving wives. Most of the great Golden Age writers, including Gongora, Calderon de la Barca, Quevedo, and Lope de Vega, often focused on the theme of the adulterous wife and the ills she caused. (59) Clerics, too, contributed their share of wifely condemnation. The famous medieval conduct manual, El carro de las donas, reprinted frequently in the sixteenth century, included a passage that, by then, would have been read in light of syphilitic infection. Referring to wayward and prideful women, the author argues that "God sends them other miserable and terrible fates, landing them in hospitals with buboes, sores, and miseries which humble them back to earth and bring them to the point of desperation." (60) For married women, then, syphilis was a well-deserved punishment--along with the abusive husband who might have infected her--for her pride.

Married women publicly seeking treatment at the Hospital de Santiago did not have it easy. The cultural model of the syphilitic wife, gleaned from literary and popular sources, both cast her as victim and malefactor. Obviously, many women like Isabel Jimenez Tirado sought hospital care for the first time soon after marriage, a probable clue to the husband's culpability. But even as these women seemingly shrugged off these notions, they had other reputational matters to consider upon seeking hospital care. Because syphilis treatment at the Hospital de Santiago mainly took the form of mercury ointments strenuously tubbed on patients' skins, only male nurses applied it. Although female nurses ran the women's ward, and communication between it and the men's ward was strictly forbidden, hospital officials were well aware of the appearances problem and discomfort raised by male nurses applying the ointment on women's genitalia. "[The application of mercury on female patients] be done with the greatest honesty and modesty that is required in such shameful tasks," stressed the hospital regulations. (61) For women who still probably relied on home remedies and female healers for gynecological care, the implications of unknown men touching their genitals could not have been welcome in a society increasingly concerned with sexual reputation.

The cultural models available to female syphilitics so far discussed remained relatively unappealing because they either blamed women for infection or framed the issue of syphilis as dependent on women's sexual reputation. While the Baroque emphasized the cultural role of honor defined through sexual behavior, this narrow, sexualized view of women's reputation consistently pushed by moralists could not, and never did, account for the much fuller range of women's behavior and attitudes towards their standing in complex social hierarchies. While present, these narrow prescriptions only colored the wider contexts of women's lives that had other options available for the construction and maintenance of prestige within a community. As recent research has shown, a woman's reputation and standing within her community was much more in her hands, thanks to the malleable nature of honor, than previously believed. (62)

Female Patients' Garments, Representations of Status, and Consumer Culture

Although how women were judged by their peers could hinge on matters of sexual behavior so favored by clerical writers on honor, they had other tools that allowed them to better negotiate their standing in the wider community. For reputation, women also could turn to familial status. It is in light of the attempt, to claim reputational status that we can consider female hospital patients' cultural trend to wear luxurious clothing. Women's dress upon entering a syphilis hospital was not plucked out of thin air, but rather responded to existing patterns and learned body scripts in an image-conscious society. Certain events, such as weddings, mass, public feasts, required dressing up precisely because they constituted flashpoints, cultural borders at which body scripts were read and reputations judged by opinion makers at large. Entering a syphilis hospital, given the reputational poverty of available cultural models for syphilitic women, was no different. As such, the clothing women wore to enter the hospital was meant to frame them in the best possible light. This was public relations at its best, seventeenth-century style.

When we examine the detailed descriptions of patients' garments available from the admissions book, the startling pattern that jumps out is that women from Toledo were by far the best dressed patients. For example, following notarial standards that sought to approximate a value for items of clothing, the hospital notary routinely added descriptors such as "new," "good," "worn," "old," "very old," and "not worth anything" to individual items patients consigned for safeguarding upon admission. (63) Garments of reasonable quality received no descriptors, as notaries assumed a basic wear and tear for textiles. As can be seen in table 1, women from Toledo were the least likely to wear items considered valueless or tattered, descriptors that scholarship on comparable hospitals elsewhere considers a measure of rates of poverty. (64)

While a full one quarter of women from outside the city entered the hospital wearing at least one item in very poor condition, barely over one tenth of female Toledo patients did so. Not only that, but even men from Toledo, who we would assume given equal conditions would have more resources at their disposal than women, demonstrated a higher propensity (15.3 percent) to wear valueless or tattered clothing.
Table 1 Patients wearing Ragged or Valueless Clothing

Residence           Toledo      Outside Toledo

Gender          Men     Women   Men     Women

N                95      35      435     156
Total Patients  628     298     2433     621
Percentage      15.13%  11.74%  17.88%  25.12%

A similar pattern can be found when we examine the fabrics patients wore. For fabrics, the crucial divide signaling sartorial luxury was that between silks and woolens. Silks were generally more expensive than woolens and traditionally considered a sign of status. As historians of material culture have shown, silk's desirability and the growth of consumer culture meant its consumption relative to woolens grew dramatically between 1500 and 1800. (65) To many policy makers, however, the increasing appearance of silks on those deemed unworthy of its status signaled moral and economic catastrophe. The Count-Duke of Olivares' much ballyhooed reform program designed to lift Spain out of its steady decline in the 1620s emphasized preventing the conspicuous consumption of silks precisely for these reasons. The consistent reintroduction of sumptuary laws from the late sixteenth century well into the 1600s nonetheless points to the state's inability to prevent the conspicuous consumption of this fabric. Thus, not only were artisans, farmers, and laborers prohibited from wearing silk, except in head gear, but their wives "may only wear silk in bodices or caps, and silk trimming in their wool cloaks," states a law originally promulgated by Charles V and confirmed nine times by his successors before 1625. (66) In Toledo proper, prostitutes were strictly forbidden from wearing silk cloaks to avoid the appearance of respectability. (67)

Once more, Toledo's women come out on top when it comes to the material wealth of the clothing they wore as they entered the hospital. While male Toledan patients wore silk in only 13.75 percent of garments, Toledan women were even more inclined to luxury, wearing an incredible 18.25 percent of items in silk. (68) Given the importance of Toledo's silk industry, their higher preponderance among its residents can be expected. The remarkable aspect, however, remains that not only were women wearing more expensive clothing than men, but that they were still doing so in the midst of Toledo's harsh economic crisis of the seventeenth century. (69) When we consider that in 1618, as the crisis of Toledo's silk industry was only starting to show, national consumption averages of silk were lower as a percentage than that exhibited by Toledo's female patients of a venereal disease hospital by mid-century, it speaks volumes to the commitment patients had to either keeping or investing in expensive silk garments. (70)

What to make, then, of the high rates of silks in patients', and especially women's, clothing? Taken together with the low rates of Toledan patients with tattered and valueless garments, silk consumption patterns suggest a more socioeconomically diverse urban patient population than elsewhere. (71) At the same time, however, we should remain wary of strictly correlating fabric choice and individual wealth. Clothes could be borrowed or even obtained through charity (72); treasured silks could remain in an impoverished family, including those known as the shame-faced poor, precisely to maintain a certain image; patients could easily mix that one exceptional silk garment with others of lesser quality. (73) Any of these possible contingencies point to the difficulty of extrapolating actual individual wealth or status from items and fabrics worn, especially once beyond the truly destitute wearing clothes of little value.

Yet despite these difficulties of correlating material culture and actual economic status, patients' clothing choices when entering the hospital do testify to the image they wished to project, in short the body scripts that others were meant to read. This is especially the case when we encounter female patients wearing silks. That it was female patients from Toledo rather than from the countryside reflecting this trend makes sense. Aside from the higher disposable income urban women might have enjoyed, it was they, unlike their countryside sisters, who were likely to encounter neighbors and family upon entering the hospital, thus making the representation of their public personae all the more crucial. Although we are used to thinking of language as consisting of choices and constructions that cannot be separated from wider contexts and the exercise of power, it may be difficult to conceptualize what people wore as a deliberate choice of frame on their part, especially if we think of them as poor patients. After all, early modern peoples did not necessarily own that many items of clothing. But if there was no intent or deliberation in what female patients wore, then why would they even bother to keep silk items, when they could easily be sold or exchanged for more woolen ones? Why wear or even hold on to a long silk cloak that was so fine it provided little in terms of protection from the elements? (74) A cloak certainly was not necessary, as seen in the many women who merely wore skirts, bodice, and aprons, a pattern common to the working classes. (75) If patients' apparel was not a function of choice, then there seems little reason to wear more expensive and more fragile silk items. That female patients insisted on wearing silks, and especially long silk cloaks speaks to their choices and, as such, to the body scripts, or the frames they wished to represent to others.

Given both the public placement of the Hospital de Santiago and the cultural pressures women with syphilis faced as they sought healthcare, it is not surprising that when they did so they made sure to dress their best. For Toledo's women, already reputed as gallant dressers, this meant wearing silk, as the fabric most likely to project status. (76) We have already seen that much of the legislative emphasis on clothing, both nationally and in Toledo, focused on silks, precisely because those increasingly affording them were not supposed to enjoy the reputational benefits they conferred. It is no coincidence that when Cervantes' Sancho Panza muses about having his daughter marry up into a ladyship, his wife's response reveals the intimate connection between status and silk,
  "Nay, Sancho," returned Teresa; "marry her to her equal, that is the
  safest plan; for if you put her out of wooden clogs into high-heeled
  shoes, out of her grey flannel petticoat into hoops and silk gowns,
  out of the plain 'Marica' and 'you,' into 'Dona So-and-so' and 'my
  lady,' the girl won't know where she is, and at every turn she will
  fall into a thousand blunders that will show the thread of her coarse
  homespun stuff." (77)

When the royal court complained of women's impudence and the "lack of distinction with which both nobles and plebeians equally wear silks, precious fabrics, and gold and silver jewelry," it spoke to the very issue of using material culture to project status, whether deserved or not. (78) Hispanic culture was not alone in this regard as the wider consumer revolution sweeping much of Western Europe witnessed the increased use of sartorial luxury as one way of projecting status in public life. (79)

The most prominent garment employed in female patients' representational strategy remained the silk cloak (see figure 1). Certainly cloaks of all types, whether silk or not, were especially useful when women ventured in public because the practice of covering the face with their hems allowed them a greater degree of behavioral freedom. This fashion was so popular that the women who practiced it received the moniker of tapadas or covered ones. (80) For female patients, this practice could have provided a much needed degree of anonymity upon entering the hospital, even if the reality of living in a small town largely conspired against the hiding of identity. But a tapada merely required any type of cloak, silk or woolen, long or short. Female patients not only wore cloaks, but especially favored long, silk ones.


In fact, silk cloaks accounted for 54.5 percent (or 251 out of 460) of all silk items, and were worn, despite their expense, by 27.3 percent of all female patients and 53.9 percent of women hailing from Toledo. Long cloaks had long been a part of Spanish women's dress. Unlike working women who wore short cloaks and aprons for freedom of movement, women in public not engaged in work usually wore, for modesty's sake, these long cloaks. "For the honest widow, a long cloak," argued Jose de Valdivielso in his pious work, Del Angel de la Guarda in 1622. (81) Though increasingly available in a variety of fabrics, the silk cloak was the most prized, with even noblewomen wearing them. Thus, in an account of Margaret of Austria's marriage by proxy to King Philip III in Ferrara, in 1598, the Duke of Sesa describes the great noble ladies accompanying Her Majesty to mass--the Duchess of Frias, the Duchess of Sesa, and the Countess of Haro--all wearing among other expensive garments, the requisite silk cloak. (82) These long silk cloaks initially signified reputation through their appeal to both public modesty and demonstrable wealth. Because they were so large, quality cloaks were measured by how little they weighed and how easily they could be folded, and even tucked into a sleeve, making the finest silks the only truly appropriate fabric for them. (83)

In a society where reputation was no mere luxury but a cultural good crucial to economic relationships, female syphilitics especially relied on the cultural advantages gained from the broad practice of wearing silks because the illness' visibility could have devastating consequences. (84) Consider the unfortunate case of Maria de Olivares from the village of Cobisa. In 1660, as an adolescent, she had entered the Hospital de Santiago for treatment. She wore no silks, let alone a long cloak, and probably had little in the way of wealth or connections. Unable to marry her off, Maria's father finally managed by 1663 to secure her a contract working as a maid in the home of Toledan notable Don Agustin de Soto y Zurita. The economic consequences of venereal infection are only too apparent in the contract. Not only was Maria paid well below market rates at 30 percent the salary of comparable contracts, but the employer did not assume the customary obligation of paying for any medical treatment that might arise. Thus saddled with public syphilitic infection, Maria suffered discrimination and was forced to accept the one option presented to her. (85)

Dowry lotteries represent another example of the importance of maintaining reputation for female patients. Many Toledan religious institutions granted sizable dowries to daughters of worthy families. It was not the downtrodden who obtained these monies, but rather honorable women who required financial aid for a dowry worthy of a respectable husband. The young women apparently had to maintain their reputation, as these dowries could be rescinded. (86) As recipients of such grants, it is not surprising to see women reinforcing status through sartorial choices upon attending the Hospital de Santiago. Our introductory example, Dona Isabel Jimenez Tirado certainly did so. Others, like Maria Gutierrez, dowry winner in 1656, and Damiana Zazo, recipient in 1661, both entered the Hospital de Santiago in 1662 donning the typical black silk cloaks that marked them as distinguished urban matrons. That none of them could claim great wealth--Maria had married a cloth dyer and Damiana a farmer, and both wore a few garments considered old--speaks to their persistence in maintaining reputation. (87)

In the context of expanding consumer culture, artisanal women donning silk cloaks reflects the increasing instability of the association between actual social status and sartorial appearance. Although still expensive, the very success of these silk cloaks as status signifiers meant everyone sought them. Thus, sartorial respectability was increasingly in reach for the upwardly mobile working classes. Even those usually not expected to wear them came into their possession. As Don Francisco, a noble character in the anonymous Entremes de los mirones complained, "There's almost no ordinary wife of a skilled worker in Seville with no more than four blancas who does not go about the streets with a silk cloak costing ten ducats." (88) In the same vein, the celebrated orator Fray Alonso de Cabrera worried that "the skilled worker must eat as good a morsel and wear as good as cape as the knight; and his wife silken skirt and cloak, like the lady; and in this way gossip against the rich." (89) In Toledo itself, Horozco had warned as early as 1560 of loose women trying to ennoble themselves by wearing silks. (90) These complaints reflected a growing reality. Consider, for instance, the appearance of silk cloaks in some contracts between Toledo's foundling hospital and the homes where they placed baby girls. Among the obligations those receiving a toddler took was that of providing her, upon adulthood, with a set of quality clothing that would prepare her for marriage. Because foundling officials were perfectly aware of the difficulty of marrying such youngsters, especially as they could claim no dowry, they started insisting on a silk cloak as one of these garments. (91)

Not only were silk cloaks being worn more widely, but different ways of acquiring similar garments were common. This process can be observed in the use of the woolen anascote. In 1627 quality Toledo anascote cost 12 reales/yard, thus making it an excellent alternative for weaving long cloaks--consider that Toledo silk used in cloaks cost 46 reales/yard! (92) Thus, women who aspired to public recognition but could not afford silk cloaks, could compromise with anascote ones. These cloaks certainly appear to have been popular among hospital patients. Altogether, 50 women entered the institution wearing them, representing almost one fifth of the more expensive silk cloaks. (93) We can see, in this case, how unstable the traditional connection between clothing and status had become. The desire for both better fabrics and garments that reflected the appearance of status resulted in combinations--a woolen on a type of garment ideally associated with silks--that exemplified the borderline nature of sartorial status, the trickling down legislators were so insistent on containing.

Moreover, although long cloaks still maintained their wider association with status, their popularity led to growing concern regarding the morality of women who went about public life hidden by them. The aforementioned practice of covering the face, exemplified by the tapadas, engendered a great deal of literary and legislative anxiety. Baroque plays refer to the coquettishness and seductiveness with which women wielded their cloaks, simultaneously hiding and showing their desires. (94) As early as 1570, and foreshadowing national provisions promulgated in the seventeenth century, Toledo's corregidor prohibited women from covering their faces with their cloaks. (95) In the context of changing consumer culture and increased prescriptive concerns on the border between public appearance and private reality--the sticky theme of deception and undeception so important in Baroque culture--it is not surprising that attention turned to cloak-clad women. (96) We have yet another trope of dangerous woman, ready to mislead men down the road of sin. Ironically, it was probably the very success of silk cloaks as status markers that popularized them and eventually led to moralizing concern.


Ultimately, when we read women's garments as social texts upon entering the Hospital de Santiago, we encounter complex representations of status that belie the cut and dry poverty we have come to expect of hospital patients. While many patients may in fact have been poor, both the cultural pressures surrounding syphilitic infection that specifically affected women and the increasing ability of artisanal classes to obtain silk garments meant Toledo's female patients dressed up and displayed familial status for others to see. In the public arena where entry into the Hospital de Santiago played out, representing and performing material wealth mattered because the images conveyed through sartorial presentation played an important role in determining public opinion and status. That women specifically chose to dress up in much greater numbers than their male counterparts speaks precisely to the importance they granted to this culture of representation as one of the ways in which they could manufacture reputation.

At the same time, the social images female patients from a variety of backgrounds presented point to the increasing availability of sartorial wealth that underscores the growing ambivalence surrounding these images and the disconnect between textiles and actual economic status. When contemporaries spoke in harried tones of the difficulty in telling apart a washerwoman from a noble lady, a prostitute from a reputable matron, they referred, even if through hyperbole, to the anxiety surrounding the differences between public image and private realities. Considering this breakdown between sartorial appearance and the poverty we have come to expect from hospital patients, reading their garments as social texts can open up new avenues of inquiry on patients' material culture and the way they represented their social selves that emphasize the interrelationship between healthcare and patients' sociocultural contexts. While disease, healthcare, and wealth may have played central roles in the process of seeking hospital admission, we cannot forget that patients were also daughters, wives, and neighbors enmeshed in wider stories, concerns, and dreams that informed their public personae and persisted once they left the hospital. If anything, their garments reflect this wider social world in which they lived.

History Department

Sherbrooke, Quebec

Canada JIM IZ7


I would like to thank Renato Barahona, Thomas V. Cohen, Kevin Siena, Gordon Barker, and Stephanie Fink De Backer for the time they took to read drafts of this article and provide essential commentary, as well as the anonymous readers of the Journal of Social History for their judicious remarks. The research for this article was made possible by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant.

(1.) For the state of the field see Randall McGowen,: Identifying Themes in the Social History of Medicine," 63, no. 1 (1991): 81-90. Roger Cooter, "The Traffic in Victorian Bodies: Medicine, Literature, and History," Victorian Studies 45, no. 3 (Spring 2003): 513-27- For Spain itself see Esteban Rodriguez Ocana, "Social History of Medicine in Spain. Points of Departure and Directions for Research," Social History of Medicine 13, no. 3 (2000): 495-513.

(2.) For instance David Gentilcore has done some excellent, work on the diversity in healing professionals, including both his Healers and Healing in Early Modern Italy (Manchester, 1998), and Medical Charlatanism in, Early Modern Italy (Oxford; New York, 2006). For Spain, see Maria Luz Lopez Terrada, "Las practicas medicas extraacademicas en la ciudad de Valencia durante los siglos XVI y XVII," DYNAMIS. Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam 22 (2002): 35. Rosa Ballester, Maria Luz Lopez Terrada, and Alvar Martinez Vidal, "La realidad de la practica medica: el pluralismo asistencial en la monarquia hispanica (ss. XVI-XVIII). Introduccion," DYNAMIS. Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam 22 (2002): 21-28; Michael R. McVaugh, Medicine before the. Plague: Practitioners and their Patients in the Crown of Aragon, 1285-1345, Cambridge History of Medicine (Cambridge, 1993).

(3.) There is a long tradition of scholarship on Spanish hospitals, as can be seen in note 11. On the mailer of syphilis itself, note Maria Luz Lopez Terrada, "El mal de siment en la Valencia del siglo XVI: imagenes del morbo gallico en una ciudad mediterranea europea," DYNAMIS. Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumeque Historiam Illustrandam 11 (1991): 119-46; Juan Ignacio Carmona, Enfermedad y sociedad en los tiempos modernos (Seville, 2005). For hospitals specifically dealing with the Pox elsewhere, including works addressing the notion of these institutions as agents of moral reform and social control, see Jon Arrizabalaga, John Henderson, and Roger French, The Great Pox: The French Disease in Renaissance Europe (New Haven, 1997); Siena, Venereal Disease and the. Urban Poor; Robert Jutte, "Syphilis and Confinement: Hospitals in Early Modern Germany." in Institutions of Confinement: Hospitals, Asylums, and Prisons in Western Europe and North America, 1500-1950, ed. Norbert and Robert Jutte Finzsch (Cambridge, 1996), 97-115.

(4.) The manner in which the state has mobilized against the threat of disease has been most often studied for epidemics such as the plague, and has led to such classic studies as John T. Alexander, Bubonic Plague in Early Modern Russia: Public. Health and Urban Disaster (Baltimore, 1980); Ann G. Carmichael, The Plague and the Poor in Renaissance Florenec (Cambridge, 1986). For the medieval and early modern period, moreover, health care, poverty, and the role of both state and private institutions, often at the municipal level, were part and parcel at the wider issue of social welfare, resulting in a cornucopia of scholarship. Just for Spain itself, representative monographs in English include Linda Martz, Poverty and Welfare in Hamburg Spain. The Example of Toledo (Cambridge, 1993); Maureen Flynn, Sacred Charily: Confraternities and Social Welfare in Spain, 1400-1700 (Ithaca, NY, 1988); James William Brodman, Hospitals and the Poor: Charity and. Welfare in Medieval Catalonia (Philadelphia, 1998). In the case of syphilis itself, the study of state responses has been particularly effective for Italian urban settings. See Arrizabalaga, Henderson, and French, The Great Pox; Laura J. McGough, "Quarantining Beauty: The French Disease in Early Modern Venice," in Sins of the Flesh. Responding to Sexual Disease in Early Modern Europe, ed. Kevin Siena (Toronto, 2005), 211-37.

(5.) Arrizabalaga, Henderson, and French, The Great Pox, Introduction and ch. 10 have led the way in demonstrating how the early modern Pox was a complex construction that included symptoms from a variety of diseases, and how this construction shifted over time, incorporating new ontological understandings of illness itself. For the construction of the Pox as a heterosexual disease, and the consequent silencing of same-sex desire in early modern medical literature see Berco, "The Masks of Normalcy," and Kevin Siena, "The Strange Medical Silence on Same-Sex Transmission of the Pox, C.1660-C.1760," in The Sciences of Homosexuality m. Early Modern Europe, ed. Kenneth and George Rousseau Borris (London and New York, 2008), 92-113 and 115-33 respectively. In terms of a sophisticated theoretical balance between disease as a biological reality and a socially constructed entity, consult J. N. Hays, The Burdens of Disease: Epidemics and Human Response in Western I History (New Brunswick, NJ., 1998).

(6.) Roy Porter, "The Patient's View: Doing History from Below," Theory and Society 14 (1985): 175-98 argued for the viability and necessity of a patient's history. Also see Dorothy Porter and Roy Porter, Patient's Progress: Doctors and Doctoring in Eighteenth-Century England (Stanford, 1989). The methodological approach to patients through the concepts of James Scott, Weapons of the Weak (New-Haven, 1985) has continued in other works focusing on patients, including Siena, Venereal Disease and the Urban Poor. The assessment of Porter's work as revisionist in Paul K. and David Goldberger Longmore, "The League of the Physically Handicapped and the Great Depression: A Case Study in the New Disability History," The Journal of American History 87, no. 3 (December 2000): 888-922 takes place in the context of another subfield within the history of medicine that has received scant attention: the history of people with disabilities.

Though few in comparison to works in other subfields, recent monographs on patients' history have received accolades for innovation and analytical depth. See, for instance, Babara Duden, The Woman Beneath the Skin: A Doctor's Patients in Eighteenth-Century Germany (Cambridge, Mass, 1991); Mary E. Fissell, Patients, Power, and the Poor in Eighteenth-Century Bristol, vol. 1991 (Cambridge, GB, 1991); McVaugh, Medicine before the Plague: Practitioners and their Patients in the Crown of Aragon, 1285-1345.

(7.) John Henderson in his The Renaissance Hospital: Healing the Body and Healing the Soul (New Haven, 2006), pp. 267-71 shows that early modern hospitals did witness great variety of poor seeking care, some destitute, and others only temporarily suffering from economic circumstances. This also appears to be the case in the Roman incurabili hospital which saw better dressed patients seeking treatment in years when Holy Wood was made available as discussed in Arrizabalaga, Henderson, and French, The Great Pox, 216. According to Siena, Venereal Disease, 105 London hospitals in the eighteenth century started charging syphilis patients for admission, thus increasingly treating a greater number of working poor rather than the destitute who had to find other options.

(8.) Examples of analysis of patients' clothing as evidence of their poverty include Maria Luisa Rodriguez Zamorano, Historia del hospital San Juan Bautista durante el siglo XVI (Madrid, 1993), 36.3-4; Arrizabalaga, Henderson, and French, The Great Pox, 215-17.

(9.) While I would agree with the notion that the social history of medicine has not fully adapted to both the linguistic turn and its repercussions, I would not go as far as Roger Cooler's bearish assessment of the prospects of the field in his "After Death/After-'Life': The Social History of Medicine in Post-Postmodernity," Social History of Medicine 20, no. 3 (2007): 441-64. Examples of the increasing tendency among historians of material culture to understand dress as a frame intended for social consumption include Tessa Storey, "Clothing Courtesans: Fabrics, Signals, and Experiences," in Catherine Richardson, ed., Clothing Culture, 1350-1650 (Burlington, VT: Ashgate: 20004); and Barbara Barman and Carole Turbin, eds., Material Strategies: Dress and Gender in Historical Perspective (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003).

(10.) The study of syphilis in early modern Spain remains a niche subject. Relevant works include Maria Luisa Garcia Verdugo, La Lozana Andaluza y la literatura del siglo XVI: La sifilis como enfermedad y metafora (Madrid, 1994); Ian Michael, "Celestina and the Great Pox," Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 78 (2001): 103-38; Maria Lu; Lopez Terrada, "El tratamiento de la sifilis en un hospital renacentista: la sala del mal de siment del Hospital General de Valencia," Asclepio 41, no. 2 (1989): 19-50; Carmona, Enfermedad y sociedad, 201-280; Berco, "The Masks of Normalcy."

More extensive scholarship has been produced on the provision of health care and hospitals. Important works include, Luis Garcia Ballester, Historia social de la medicina en la Espana de los sighs XIII al XVI (Madrid, 1976); Juan Ignacio Carmona Garcia, El sistema de hospitalidad publica en la Sevilla del Antiguo Regimen (Seville, 1979); Luis S. Granjel, La medicina espanola renacentista (Salamanca, 1980); Samuel S. Kottek and Luis Garcia Ballester, eds., Medicine and Medical Ethics in Medieval and Early Modern Spain (Jerusalem, 1996). For the history of medicine and health in Toledo, including the Hospital de Santiago see Julian Montemayor, "Una ciudad frente a la peste: Toledo a lines del XVI," En la Espana Medieval 7 (1985): 1113-1132; Maria Luisa Rodriguez Zamorano, Historia del Hospital de San Juan Bautista de Toledo durante el siglo XVI (Madrid, 199 3); Hilario Garcia Rodriguez, El Hospital del Rey de Toledo (Toledo, 1985); Catherine Wilkinson, The Tavern Hospital in Toledo, reprint of Ph.D. dissertation (New York, 1977); Alfonso Lopez-Fando Rodriguez, "Los antiguos hospitales de Toledo," Toletum 1 (1955): 96-118; Rafael Sancho de San Roman, "La medicina en Toledo. Notas para una historia de la medicina toledana," Toletum 5(1972): 35-61; Rafael Sancho de San Roman, "El Hospital del Nuncio de Toledo en la historia de la asistencia psiquiatrica," Andes toledanos 17 (1983): 55-72; Olga Perez Monzon, "El Hospital de Santiago de Toledo en el siglo XVI," in Comite Espanol de la Historia del Arte, ed., 1992: El Arte espariol en epocas de transicion. Actas (Leon, 1992), 355-66.

(11.) This admission hook can be found in Archivo de la Diputacion Provincial de Toledo [hereafter ADPT], Libro H-55.

(12.) I derive the re rim body scripts from my reading of both the notion of the performativity of gendered bodies in Judith Butler's Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (London, 1999) and the concept of body techniques first discussed by Marcel Mauss in his seminal essay "Les techniques du corps," Journal de Psychologie 52, no. 3-4 (1934): 271-93, and later modified by Nick Crossley as Reflexive Body Techniques in The Social Body: Habit, Identity, and Desire (London, 2001).

(13.) Early modern medical conceptualizations of the disease we have come to know as syphilis included both the typical three stages of syphilitic progression as well as symptoms for some forms of gonorrhea, as shown in Arrizabalaga. Henderson, and French, The Great Pox, ch. 1. I utilize the term syphilis for simplicity and ease of reading.

(14.) For example, as reflected in late-sixteenth century hospital account books the hospital enjoyed a regular surplus, and wealthy Toledanos willingly paid for their slaves to be treated there. Archivo Historico Nacional [hereafter AHN], Ordenes Militares, carpeta 328, numero 33 and Ordenes Militares, libro 7.

(15.) 3980 patients were treated between 1654 and 1665. ADPT, libro H-55.

(16.) Esmeralda Alvarez Navarro, ed. "Discurso de Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, Corregidor de Toledo (ano 1628)," Archivo Secrete, 3 (2006): 217-223.

(17.) The description of the hospital's facade is from a visit conducted in 1603 and found in AHN, Ordenes Militares, libro 7.

(18.) All patients deposited their clothing with a hospital official in charge of it, while the notary wrote down each item, including the fabric, and if necessary the condition of the clothing. This was part of a hospital patient book which listed the above, a patient's name, civil status, birthplace, place of residence, parents, and date of entry. Dona Isabel Jimenez Tirado's record occurs in ADPT, libro H-55, Fall Season 1656, patient 21. According to Carmen Bernis, El traje y los tipos sociales en el Quijote (Madrid, 2001 ), 252, King silk cloaks, as supposed to mere woolen cloaks, marked differences between ladies and common women.

(19.) For instance, in 1661, Maria de la Cruz entered a contract with a local Toledan notary as a servant, the salary amounting to 12 ducats per year, or just over 3 ducats from the price of a silk cloak (Archivo Provincial de Toledo [hereafter APT], P-158, 21r).

(20.) The original dowry contract can be found in APT, P-150, 90r. A grant for honorable maidens from the respected convent of Sun Pedro Mattir accounted for most of the cash on hand (100 out of 109.1 ducats). Clothing totaled 62 ducats, and included the silk cloak (9.1 ducats) and the damask gown (1.3.6 ducats) she would wear when she entered the hospital of Santiago. Jewelry--mostly gold and silver--valued at 68.1 ducats also counted towards the capital she brought into this marriage, while the rest of the dowry (186.8 ducats) consisted of quality furniture. A merchant daughter's dowry signed at the same notary's totaled 745 ducats in 1660 (APT. P-157. 647r).

(21.) On the shamefaced poor in Spain see fly tin, Sacred Charity, 79-80; for Toledo see Martz, Poverty and Welfare, 5, 9.

(22.) Because syphilitic symptoms manifested mostly as skin lesions, the treatment of the disease fell usually under the purview of surgery, and many of the practical works on its treatment hailed horn practicing university-trained surgeons like the great Juan Calvo and his treatise Primera y segunda parte de la cirugia universal: Tratado segundo del morbo galico (Valencia, 1647) originally published in 1580 (BN, R-5.581). The clothing listed in Isabel's dowry (APT, P-150, 90r) mostly included the damask gown she would later wear to the hospital, among other quality silk garments, and two woolen gowns.

(23.) For more specific information on the state of clothing and fabrics women wore to enter the Hospital de Santiago, see Tables 1 and 2.
Table 2 Patients' Clothing by Fabric

Residence and Gender  Woolens (#  Silks (# of  Total  Percentage of
                      items)         items)            Silk Items

  Men                  2433           388      2821      13.75%
  Women                1160           259      1419      18.25%

Outside Toledo
  Men                  9247           812      10059      8.07%
  Women                2142           201      2343       8.58%

(24.) For an excellent study of the way individuals in Toledo's hinterland negotiated, constructed, and maintained public reputation through rhetorical strategies embedded in ritual, insults, and, sometimes, violence, see Scott K. Taylor, Honor and Violence en Golden Age Spain (New Haven, 2008).

(25.) Though older histories argued dial syphilis enjoyed a gender disparate pattern of infection that reflected large numbers of men infected by few prostitutes, recent research, has shown both that the disease was more widespread than originally believed and that patterns of infection tended to be similar between men and women, thus making the issue of gendered differences in patient numbers more related to access than rates of infection. See Siena, Venereal Disease, 4, 16.5-66; and Laura McGough, "Demons, Nature, or God?: Witchcraft Accusations and the French Disease in Early Modern Venice," Bulletin of the History of Medicine 80, no. 2 (2006); 228.

(26.) As noted in the Hospital de Santiago's constitutions, administrators and doctors considered syphilis a curable disease, thus the hospital prohibited admitting patients with incurables illnesses.

(27.) Intact, the Hospital del Rey normally remitted patients with syphilis to the Hospital de Santiago. At least two patients between 1654-65 underwent this process. Elena's will can be found in APT, P-170, 114r.

(28.) Lope: de Villalobos, El sumario de la medicina, 162.

(29.) Ibid., 155.

(30.) Winfried Schleiner, "Infection and cure through women: Renaissance constructions of syphilis," Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 24, no. 3 (Fall 1994): 499-517 remains the best work detailing European-wide attitudes that connected women and syphilis.

(31.) Ruy Diaz de la Isla, Tratado contra el mal serpentino (Seville, 1.539), 13v (BN, R-28825). Spanish excerpts also published in Michael, "Celestina and the Great Pox."

(32.) Calvo, cirugia universal, 564 (BN, R-5581).

(33.) Vidal Gavidia, La casa de arrepentidas, 59-41.

(34.) Gamero, ed. Ordmanzas, Titulo 93, 193.

(35.) Pedro de Alcocer, Historia o description de la Imperial Ciudad de Toledo (Toledo: Juan Ferrer, 1554) (Universitat de Valencia, BH Z-12/064), 118r-I18v

(36.) Michael, "Celestina and the Great Pox."

(37.) Garcia Verdugo, La Lozana Andaluza; Carolyn Wolfenzon, "La Lozana Andaluza: judaismo, sifilis, exilio y creacion," Hispanic Research Journal 8, no. 2 (April 2007): 107-22.

(38.) Although most literary historians consider the apocryphal Guzman de Alfarache of much lesser quality than Mateo Aleman's version, it should be noted that the former enjoyed great success due in large part to its early publication, before Aleman could publish his second volume in 1604. In fact, the apocryphal version was reprinted seven times across the Iberian peninsula in 1603, while also reaching Milan that same year, and Brussels in 1604. See Rosa Navarro Duran, ed., Novela Picaresca (Madrid, 2005), Vol. 2, xlii.

(39.) Mateo Lujan de Sayavedra, Segunda parte de la vida del picaro Guzman de Alfarache (Barcelona, 1602), in Rosa Navarro Duran, ed., Novela Picaresca (Madrid, 2005), Vol. 2, 292-3. The passage reads, "Pense que el tacto y olfato me querian engafiar y que solo tenia el oir verdadero y buen amigo; los ojos, en aquella ocasion, no eran de provecho por la oscuridad; aunque, en semejante mercaduria, son cuanto danosos y sobornados, si es buena; desenganadores y verdaderos, si es mala. Bien pudiera yo considerar que no queria sobra la ropa, pues la puso en tienda tan oscura, como mercader de lienzos, y que no queria sobre la vista el precio; pero dejelo por no sentir tan pestilencial hedor como probe, llegandome mas cerca. (...)No reparan las mujeres en su salud ni en la ajena, pues vemos que del grande exceso del vicio todas se hinchan luego de bubas y inficionan a los que se les llegan, como vemos cada dia en aquella corte; que con la codicia de ganar torpemente, todo lo llevan por un rasero, como el fuego."

(40.) The practice of claiming female witnesses were prostitutes or had been involved in a fight with the defendant over public insults relating to prostitution seems to have been widespread as a judicial strategy when it came to present tachas or disqualifies against witnesses in inquisitorial cases. It is routine in the trials transcribed in Haim Beinart, ed., Records of the Trials of the Spanish Inquisition in Ciudad Real, 2 vols (Jerusalem, 1974). Such a tactic can also be seen in the easily accessible Toledo case against Marina Gonzalez and translated in Lu Ann Homza, ed. The Spanish Inquisition, 1478-1614. An Anthology of Sources (Indianapolis, 2006), 40-41 when Francisco dc Toledo attempts to disqualify his servant Mayor as a witness because she had been involved in a public spat with his wife with insults of "whore" being traded by both women.

The importance of "whore" as an insult levelled against women seems to have been widespread throughout Europe. As Merry E. Wiesner argues in Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, GB, 2000 ), 40, "[F]or all women, honor was a sexual matter. In most parts of Europe, women of all classes were allowed to bring defamation suits to court for insults to their honor, and it is clear from court records that they did this frequently; such records also indicate that the worst things a man could be called was 'thief or 'coward' while for women it was 'whore'."

(41.) "Contra la multitud de malas mujeres que hay en el mundo (...) putas pelando hambrientas." Sebastian de Horozco, Cancionero (Seville, 1874), 31.

(42.) Destas hay tantas a hecho,/qu' aunqu' aca buen cobro habia/ha la corte tantas hecho/que como sienten provecho/hay muy grande puteria./Va la cosa tan corruta/y hay tanta disolucion,/que la menos disoluta/no se escapa de ser puta/de obra, o de coracon./Pero no me maravillo/que do hay tantos forasteros/y tanto del mocalvillo/se pesquen con el cebillo/de presentes y dineros./Ellas los saben chupar,/y ellos saben dar sin asco,/asi qu' en este lugar/no puede agora dexar/de muy bien arder el tasco." Horozco, Cancionero, 183.

(43.) Gameso, ed. Ordenanzas, Tit 93, p. 153

(44.) Thirty colors were documented in women's clothing including such specific tones as mauve, turquoise, checkered, rosemary, and olive.

(45.) ADPT, H-55; Antonia Serrano (Fall 1655, patient 16) and Maria Gonzalez (Fall 1661, patient 33). Moreover, even outside of the aforesaid mantillas, yellow appears in only three skirts and a pair of socks among all women's garments.

(46.) Allyson Poska, Regulating the People: The Catholic Reformation in Seventeenth-Century Spain (Leiden, 1998), chapter 5 finds that Gallegan women in rural areas quite commonly had children out of wedlock. Renato Barahona, Sex Crimes, Honour, and the Law in Early Modern Spain (Toronto, 2003), chapter 5 shows that women who suffered public shame due to premarital sex often sought remedies through the court system.

(47.) Diaz de la Isla, Tratado, 5v.

(48.) Spanish authors generally agreed that, while sexual intercourse led as the cause of contagion, syphilis could also be acquired by merely coming into contact with articles belonging to the diseased. See Calvo, Cirugia universal, 570 where he even went as far as arguing that the ill's breath was contagious too; Torres, Libro de las bubas 6; Pedro Lopez Pinna, Tratado del morbo gdlico (Seville, 1664), 5r (BN, R-5793); Andres de Leon, Prdctico de morbo gdlico (Valladolid, 1605), 6v (BN, R-4929).

(49.) On the hospital's excellent reputation see the case of Joan Manuel Moreno, a merchant's son who actually paid to be treated there in 1656 despite not needing to do so (ADPT, libro H-55. Spring 1656, patient 86). Also see Horzco's favourable assessment of the Hospital in the poem opening his Cancionero: "Y porque su devocion/no quede sin premio ni pago,/sera su congregacion/su junta y advocacion/en Toledo en Santiago;/do el general comisario/y el grand administrador,/como se haze ordinario/les dara lo necesario/y toda ayuda y favor." Horozco, Cancionero, 4.

(50.) On the issue of the popular influences shaping La Picara Justina see Julian Sevilla Munoz, "Fuentes paremiologicas francesas y espanolas de la primera mitad del siglo XVII," Revista de Filologia Romdnica 10 (1993): 361-73 and Bruno M. Damiani, "Las fuentes literarias de 'La Picara Justina'," Thesaurus 36, no. 1 (1981): 44-70

(51.) The whole passage reads, "Y viene esto bien con el refran de los del hospital de la folga, en Toledo, que dice: 'los pelados son hidalgos eclesiasticos y pajaros harpados.' Y dicenlo, porque los de nuestra faction sin pena pierden la misa y sin vergiienza la fama. Dicen de todos mas que relator en sala de crimen, y aun de si no callan; y si una vez dan barreno a la cuba del secreto, hasta las heces derrama. Para decir de los otros son como galeotes en galera, y para pregonar su caza son como gallinas ponedoras, que para un huevo atruenan un barrio." In Francisco Lopez de Ubeda, Libro de entretentmiento de la picara Justina (Medina del Campo, 1605, edition of New York, 1847), 9-10. Note Justina's use of pelados or bald as derogatory term for the poxed, and her identification of the institution in which the saying originated as "hospital de la folga" or the party hospital. Considering the work continuously chides syphilitics for their carefree bon vivant ways and Santiago's status as Toledo's only syphilis hospital, the proverb probably referred to the Hospital de Santiago.

(52.) Maria de Guzman sought treatment in 1661 (ADPT, libro H-55, Spring 1661, patient 265) and entered as a doncella or maiden. In 1656, however, she already appears as an emancipated single woman renting a home in Toledo (APT, P-3159, 60r).

(53.) As instituted in the Hospital's 1604 regulations found in AHN, Ordenes Militares, libro 70, 67r.

(54.) For an excellent interpretation of the widespread literature on sexuality and, specifically marital infidelity, in Golden Age Spain, see Felix Cantisano Perez, El erotismo en la poesia de adulteros y cornudos en el Siglo de Oro (Madrid, 2007).

(55.) Tirso de Molina. Santo y Sastre ed. J. Garau en Obras Completas. Cuarta parte de comedias, vol. 2 (Madrid-Pamplona, 2003), p. 640, lines 250-65.

(56.) Sebastian de Horozco, El libro de los proverbios glosados, ed. Jack Weiner (Kassel, 1994), Vol. 2, 403.

(57.) Weiner, the utmost authority on Horozco and editor of his Proverbios Glosados certainly suspects Horozco's many references to syphilis had to do with a probable venereal disease with which he had to contend. Horozco, Proverbios glosados, vol. 1, 25, note 6.

(58.) Horozco, Proverbios glosados vol. 2,522 provides a description of the Castilian charivari applied by local authorities as part of popular custom, for he argues no law existed on the hooks applying such shaming.

(59.) Cantizano Perez, El erotismo en la poesia, chapter 4.

(60.) The whole passage reads, "Porque, como dize sant Augustin, que nuestro Senor Dios castiga la persona sobervia de coracon y de trages sobervios. E por esta causa permitte que cayga en publica luxuria y aun haze que ella sea menospreciada y tenida en poco de todos. E assi, quando la triste donzella cae en offensa de Dios nuestro Senor, dale un marido que la menosprecia y la tracta como a estiercol. Y con esto le da largas y feas enfermedades, porque las tales de aqui adelante no se ensobervezcan con la vanidad de su hermosura, porque ya no ay en ellas sino miseria y dolor. E a las tales haze Dios venir en gran pobreza, de manera que por grado o por fuerca se han de humillar a demander limosna e les embia Dios otros casos miserables y terribles, poniendoles en hospitales con bubas y llagas y miserias, las quales las humillan hasta la tierra y las traen a punto de desesperacion." Carmen Clausell Nacher, ed. Carro de las Donas (Valladolid, 1542): Estudio preliminary y edicion anotada (Barcelona: Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona Ph.D. Thesis, 2005), 100. Though "bubas" meant plague bubo in the fifteenth-century, by the sixteenth-century the term was commonly used to refer to syphilitic boils and would have been read that way.

(61.) "y para hacer y dar las unciones a los enfermos y enfermas aya doce enfermeros barones pues las enfermeras mugeres no tienen la suficiente fuerza para hacer y dar a sus enfermas las dichas unciones pero esto se aga con la mayor onestidad y modestia que se requiere en ministerios tan bergonzosos" AHN, Ordenes Militares, libro 70, 70r.

(62.) As recent scholarship has argued, rather than a factor that constrained individuals', and especially women's lives, reputation and honor were much more ambivalent, malleable and open to negotiation by both men and women than argued in earlier scholarship. For the early literature which argued for a much more rigid honor system that was especially pernicious to women's opportunities see Julian Pitt-Rivers, "Honour and Social Status," in Jean G. Peristiany, ed. Honour and Shame: The Value of Mediterranean Society (London, 1965), 21-95; Jose Antonio Maravall, Poder, honor y elites en el siglo XVII (Madrid, 1979); Bartolome; Bennassar, The Spanish Character: Attitudes and Mentalities from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century (Berkeley, 1979), chapter 8. Revisionist works that have highlighted individual, and especially women's agency, in shaping reputation and honor include Taylor, Honor and Violence, chapter 8; Barahona, Sex Crimes, Honour; Abigail Dyer. "Seduction by promise of marriage: Law, sex, and culture in seventeenth-century Spain," The. Sixteenth Century Journal 34, no. 2 (2003): 439-455. For similar; trends elsewhere in Europe see Elizabeth S. Cohen, "Honor and Gender in the Streets of Early Modern Rome," journal of Interdisciplinary History 22, no. 4 (Spring 1992): 597-625.

(63.) The Hospital notary's descriptors used for clothing were similar to those used in notarial inventories. Both tended to employ descriptors sparingly as they only denoted exceptional quality or lack thereof. As a matter of comparative reference consider the garments included in the notarial inventory for a respected member of Toledan society, Julian Garcia de Cifuentes, notary and accountant to the Holy Office of the Inquisition and owner of an estate beside that of alderman Alonso de Cisneros: of the 19 total garments (10 of which were silks) none warranted exceptionally good descriptors such as "good", or "new". In fact 17 garments can be considered normal as no descriptors were attached, and the other 2 were qualified as "old". (APT, P-170, 187r).

(64.) For the notary's responsibilities as he admitted patients see Ordenes Militares, libro 70, 68r and 80r. Arrizabalaga, Henderson, and French, The Great Pox, 215-17 show that in Rome, anywhere from 27 to 42 percent of patients who entered the incurabili hospital wore ragged clothing, while in late medieval Florence, a general hospital recorded twice as many women as men without itemizing their garments, effectively deeming them valueless.

(65.) On the wider consumer revolution of the early modern era see Jan de Vries, "Between Purchasing Power and the World of Goods: Understanding the Household Economy in Early Modern Europe," in J. Brewer and R. Porter, eds. Consumption and the World of Goods (London, 1993); Fernando Diez, "La apologia ilustrada del lujo en Espana. Sobre la configuracion del hombre consumidor." Historia Social 37 (2000): 3-25. For the shift from woolens to silks see Belen Moreno, "Pautas de consumo textil en Cataluna del siglo XVIII. Una vision a partir de los inventarios post-mortem," in J. Torras and B. Yun, eds., Consumo condiciones de vida y comercializacion. Cataluna y Castilla siglos XVII-XIX (Valladolid, 1999), 71-88; Lidia Torra Fernandez, "Comercializacion y consumo de tejidos en Cataluna, 1650-1800," Revista de Historia. Industrial 11 (1997):177-196; Maximo Garcia Fernandez, "El consumo manufacturer textil en las ciudades castellanas, siglos XVI-XVII y XVIII", Torre de los Lujanes 45 (Oct 2001): 173-191.

(66.) "Mandamos que los oficiales menestrales de manos, sastres, zapateros, carpinteros, herreros, tejedores, pellejeros, tundidores, curtidores, zurradores, esparteros, esparteros, y de otros cualesquier oficios semejantes a estos mas bajos, y obreros y labradores, y jornaleros, no puedan traer seda algunas, excepto gorras, caperuzas o bonetes de seda, y sus mujeres solamente puedan traer sayuelos o gorretes de seda, y un ribete en los mantos que trajeren de pano. Novisima Recopilacion, Libro VI, Titulo XIII, Ley 1. A royal edict from 1680 establishing maximum prices for fabrics consistently lists silks among the most expensive. Thus satin was priced at 28 reales per vara (a Castilian measurement equal to 3 feet), damask at 29, picote at 18, taffeta at 11, and pinuela at 40. In contrast, consider that ordinary woolens like jerguilla and cordellate were priced at around 4 reales/vara (this information can be found in the eighteenth-century versions of the Real Academia's Diccionario de Autoridades, currently available online at where the definitions for these fabrics include the price established in a 1680 decree). Silk, then, represent a good indicator of wealth and status. For the importance and variability of silk products see Bernis, El traje, 276-280; Peter Boyd-Bowman, "Spanish and European Textiles in Sixteenth Century Mexico," The Americas 29, no. 3 (Jan 1973): 334-358. The correlation between luxurious fabrics and perceptions of status was part of a wider European phenomenon. See for example, the articles by Oksana Sekatcheva, "The Formation of Russian Women's Costume at the Time before the Reforms of Peter the Great," and Tessa Storey, "Clothing Courtesans: Fabrics, Signals, and Experiences," both in Catherine Richardson, ed. Clothing Culture, 1350-1650 (Burlington, VT, 2004), 77-91 and 95-107 which partly deal with the social meanings Russian women, Italian prostitutes, and observers attributed to types of clothing and fabrics, including silk.

(67.) Antonio Martin Gameso, ed. Ordenanzas para d buen regimen y gobierno de la muy leal noble, amy lea) e imperial Ciudadde Toledo (Toledo, 1858). Tit 93, p. 153.

(68.) ADPT, libro 11-55.

(69.) Toledo was unlucky to he caught between a rock and a hard [dace in the seventeenth century. Not only was rhe city affected by the economic crisis that ravaged much of Spain but the growth of Madrid meant increasing competition for resources that the surrounding countryside could not fully provide. Consequently, the depopulation of the city during this economic malaise was pronounced reaching a nadir between 10,000 and 20,000 inhabitants by the mid seventeenth-century from a high of at least 70,000 in the last quarter of the seventeenth century. The best treatment of Toledo's decline and its relationship to the rise of Madrid remains David Ringrose, Madrid and the; Spanish Economy 1560-1850 (Berkeley, 1983), chapter 11. For the problems faced by some healthcare institutions during this time see Rodriguez de Gracia, El Hospital del Rey, 50-54.

(70.) My calculation based on raw totals provided by Jose Ignacio Andres Ucendo, "Algunas notas sobre el consumo y comercializacion de tejidos en Castilla a comienzos del siglo XVII: La encuesta de 1618," Revista de Historia Economica 23, no. 1 (2005): 13-46 shows that on average, Castilians consumed silk at the rate of 10.2 percent.

(71.) The poverty of syphilis patients has been well remarked in the scholarship. See Arrizabalaga, Henderson, and French, The Great Pox, 217 on the greater poverty of female patients. For England see Siena, Venereal Disease, 3-14 on poverty and 31-34 on the shame associated with syphilis. For Spain see Maria Luisa Lopez Terrada, "El tratamiento de la sifilis en un hospital renacentista: la sala del Mai de Siment del Hospital General de Valencia," Asclepio 41 (1989): 19-50. For Germany see R. Jutte, "Syphilis and Confinement: Early Modern German Hospitals for Syphilitics," in N. Finizsch and R. Jutte, eds. The Prerogative of Confinement (Cambridge, GB, 996). 97-116

(72.) For example, we encounter Maria de Arcay, a single woman from the far northwestern region of Galicia entering the hospital in 1660 and wearing garments so tattered the notary deemed them "not worth anything." Yet she also wore a new shirt. (ADPT, Libro H-55, Fall 1660, patient 105). Considering that the indigent were often the recipient, of charity in the form of garments, as discussed by Maureen Flynn, "The Charitable Activities of Early Modern Confraternities," in Early Modern Europe, eds. Karen L. Taylor and James B. Collins (Oxford, 2006), 104-05, this juxtaposition between worthless and new should not be that surprising.

(73.) Petronila Palacios, from Ajofrin, entered the hospital wearing eleven items. Of these, an underskirt and the shoes were considered old, another underskirt was deemed very old, the shirt was new, and the other seven, including a silk skirt were in normal condition. (ADPT, Libro H-55, Spring 1655, patient 77).

(74.) Bernis, El traje, 252-3.

(75.) Ibid., 442. In fact female patients seem to have rarely worn both long cloaks and aprons. Whereas 25 3 patients wore aprons and 251 wore long silk cloaks, only 29 wore both.

(76.) Horozco, Proverbios glosados, vol. 1, 298 describes the sartorial gallantry of Toledo's ladies in his interpretation of the proverb that plays with the Spanish words for damask (damasco), lady (dama), and repugnance (asco).

(77.) "Eso no Sancho--respondio Teresa--: casadla con su igual, que es lo mas acertado; que si de los zuecos la sacais a chapines, y de saya parda de catorzeno a verdugado y saboyanas de seda, y de una Marica y un tu a una dona tal y senoria, no se ha de hallar la muchacha, y a cada paso ha de caer en mil faltas, descubriendo la hilaza de su tela basta y grosera." Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha, (Madrid, 2004), Segunda Parte, capitulo V, 583. For the English version, I am relying on a modified version of John Ormsby's classic translation available at

(78.) From a 1679 royal order to the Mexican, viceroy cited in Pilar Gonzalbo, "De la penuria y el lujo en la Nueva Espana, Siglos XVI-XVIII," Revista de Indias 56 (1996): 49-75.

(19.) On the rise of consumer culture and personal strategies of manipulating luxury as a status marker see Lorna Weatherhill, Consumer Behavior and Material Culture in Britain, 1660-1760 (London, 1988), as well as Edith Snook, "The Greatness in Good Clothes: Fashioning Subjectivity in Mary Wroth s Urania and Margaret Spencer's Account Book," The Seventeenth Century 22, no. 2 (Autumn 2007): 225-259. Aside from the seminal work by Bernis, El traje, recent scholarship on Hispanic culture has also examined the intimate relationship between material culture, public status, and individual representational strategies in daily life. In this vein consider Isabel de la Cruz de Amenabar, El traje: transformaciones de una segunda piel. Serie Arte y Sociedad en Chile. 1650-1820 (Santiago, 1996), Teresa Ferrer Valls, "Vestuario Teatral y espectaculo cortesano en el Siglo de Oro" El vestuario en el teatro espanol del Siglo de Oro, Cuadernos de teatro clasico, 13-14 (2000): 63-84, Laura Bass and Amanda Wunder, "The Veiled Ladies of the Early Modern Spanish World: Seduction and Scandal in Seville, Madrid, and Lima" Hispanic Review 77, no. 1 (Winter 2009): 97-144. For a perspective of the same process rooted in economic history see Maximo Garcia y Bartolome Yun "Pautas de consume, estilos de vida y cambio politico en las ciudades castellanas a fines del Antiguo Regimen" in Jose" I. Fortea, ed. Imdgenes de diversidad. El mundo urbano en la corona de Castilla (s. XVI-XVIII) (Santander, 1997), 245-82.

(80.) Bernis, El Traje, 257-8.

(81.) Jose de Valdivielso, Del Angel de la Guarda. Comedia Divina (1622), eds. Ricardo Arias y Arias and Robert. V. Piluso (Madrid, 1975), 701.

(82.) "Correspondencia de la Infanta Archiduquesa Dona Isabel Clara Eugenia de Austria con el Duque de Lerma, Apendice," Boletin de la Real Academia de la Historia 49, no. 1 (July 1906): 15-16.

(83.) Bernis, El traje. 252-3.

(84.) On the connection between reputation and economic considerations see Scott Taylor, "Credit, Debt, and Honor in Castile, 1600-1650," Journal of Early Modern History 7, no 1-2 (2003): 8-27

(85.) Maria de Olivares (ADPT, libro H-55, Spring 1660, patient 152) received a contract well below normal expectations. Her agreement (APT, P-160, 77r) stipulated a salary of 12 ducats for four years, or 3 ducats/year, and her employer assumed no medical costs. Contrast this with the service contract for fifteen-year-old orphan, Carolina Ruiz, signed a mere month after Maria's at the same notary. Her employer, procurator Mateo de Avila, promised to pay Catalina 10 ducats/year and to pay for "the cure of her illnesses" as customary in service contracts of this type (APT, P-160, 175r).

(86.) Eugenia Pelaez, for instance, lucked out and obtained a dowry administered by the Hospital de Misericordia in 1655 after the administrators of the grant rescinded it from Catalina Gonzalez two years before. APT, P-149, 1269r.

(87.) Maria Gutierrez (ADPT, libro H-55, Spring 1662, patient 107) obtained a dowry grant of 20,000 maravedis from the Toledo Cathedral in 1656 (APT, P-3160, 727r). Damiana Zazo (ADPT, libro H-55, Spring 1662, patient 56, returning in Fall 1662, patient 42) received a dowry of 17,000 maravedis from the same church in 1661 (APT, P-3172, 358r).

(88.) "Ni mas ni menos es eso que no haber casi en Sevilla mujer ordinaria de oficial que tenga cuatro blancas, que no ande por las calles con un man to de lustre, que cuesta diez ducados." Entremes de los mirones (1611-17) (Madrid, 1987), 82.

(89.) "Empecemos por los pohres y gente plebeya. Induraverunt facies suns supra petram et noluerunt reverti. Todos perdidos. Corazones mas que de piedra, impacientes, soberbios, mentirosos; aqui jurando, aculla maldiciendo. El oficial ha de comer tan buen bocado y traer tan buena capa como el caballero; y su mujer saya de seda y manto de lustre, como la senora; y con eso murmurar de los ricos." Fray Alonso de Cabrera, De las consideraciones subre todos los evangelios de la Cuaresma (1598) ed. Miguel Mir (Madrid, 1906), 144.

(90.) "Y con esto se han alcado/las putas con presuncion,/y todas se han en-donado/que ninguna no ha quedado/que no se haya puesto don./Han tenido que tundir/largamente todo este ano,/y despues de bien muflir,/han jurado no vestir/ropa ni cosa de pano./Todas se han tornado seda,/rasos, damascos, velludos,/aunqu' el majadero rueda/por que ninguno no pueda/ofrecer menos de escudos." Horozco, Cancionero, 183.

(91.) Whether service contracts included a silk cloak seemed to have depended on how willing one was to negotiate for them. Thus, in 1659 Domingo Ramos negotiated a contract for his daughter, Isabel, to serve in the home of Sebastian de Pallares, yet only obtained a promise for a woolen cloak (APT P-3168, 338r). On the other hand, in 1660 the administrator of Toledo's foundling hospital of Santa Cruz and canon of the Cathedral, Don Alonso de Castro y Andrada, negotiated a similar contract for the toddler Manuela that included a silk cloak (APT, P-3169, 520r)

(92.) For the prices of various types of fabrics from Toledo and elsewhere in 1627 see Imanol Sorondo, "Arancel General de precios en la venta de mantenimientos y mercadurias, ano 1627," Zainak. Cuadernos de Antroplogia-Etnografia 5 (1987): 251-292.

(93.) ADPT, libro H-55.

(94.) Bass and Wunder, "Veiled Ladies."

(95.) According to Horozco, Cancionero, 243, Corregidor Tello promulgated this law after he heard Friar Antonio Navarro's fiery sermon on the "great evils of this modern trend of covering [the face] with cloaks."

(96.) On the Spanish Baroque's sensibility to issues of image in the context of debates on deception/undeception see the classic work Jose Antonio Maravail, Culture the Baroque: Analysis of a Historical Structure, trans. Terry Cochran (Minneapolis, 1986) as well as Jeremy Robbins, "Knowledge, Self and Honour," Bulletin of Spanish Studies 82, no. 8 (2005): 157-176; William Egginton, "Grecian and the Emergence of the Modern Subject," in Rhetoric and Publics: Baltasar Gracian and the New World Order, ed. Nicholas Spadaccini and Jenaro Talens, Hispanic Issues (Minneapolis, 1997), 151-69.

By Cristian Berco

Bishop's University
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