Juana of Castile: Mad for Love or Political Pawn?
History has been written by men about men for centuries. So for writers of women’s history, one has to take the written record with a grain of salt, wonder if there are hidden agendas. This is especially true when it comes to the life of Juana of Castile. While most people are familiar with the story of her sister Catherine of Aragon and her marriage to Henry VIII, not many are familiar with the story of her older sister Juana. If she is known at all it is as Juana la Loca, Joanna the Mad, a woman who lost her mind after the death of her husband, the object of her obsessive love, prone to jealous rages who kept her husband’s moldy decrepit coffin nearby so that she could spent her nights talking to him. But is this true, or was Juana a political pawn, torn between her loyalty to her husband and her loyalty to Spain and her parents. Or does the truth lie somewhere in between? Juana was the third child and second daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. While the marriage of Ferdinan