Alexander Sánchez ’20

Project TitleAna de Mendoza: Her Role as a Mother in the Court of Phillip II of Spain
Mentor – Glenda Nieto Cuebas

Amongst the noble women of early modern Spain there were many that stood out amongst their peers, due to the type of influence that was not expected of at the time. One of the most interesting amongst this group of women was Ana de Mendoza, better known as the Princess of Éboli. Her reputation portrays her as a convoluted, controversial, and ambitious woman; attitudes that did not exactly follow the social standards imposed on noble women of early modern Spain. In this research project I will pay attention to how she was also known for her role as “confidant” within the court of King Philip II of Spain, how this gave her a level of status and power that allowed her to fully follow her ambitions of power, why she was accused of collaborating with a group of Portuguese and Flemish rebels, and was also accused of being involved in the murder of Rafael de Escobedo. I will take into consideration the theory of “the King’s/Queen’s two bodies” to analyze her power within the court, both to the public eye (as Philip the II’s confidant) and in private (such as the case with her collaboration with enemies of the court). I also hope to be able to answer the following questions: What did the private life of the Princess of Eboli involve? Also, what kind of life did she lead alongside her family and, particularly, her children? The answers to these questions will reflect the purpose of this investigation: to dissect whether or not the Princess’s ambitions influenced her behavior with her children.