February 25, 2024 · University of Virginia

Battered Angels: Domestic Violence in Spanish Literature, 1850-1925.

Abstract: "“Battered Angels: Domestic Violence in Spanish Literature, 1850- 1925,” investigates the issue of domestic violence in nineteenth- and early twentieth- century Spain, utilizing sources from the literature, press, and legal codes of the time. By analyzing representations of domestic violence, it seeks to achieve a dual purpose: first, to cast light on the ideological and s0ciological underpinnings of a social problem that has still not been adequately addressed, and second, to trace significant moments in the development of a feminist critique in Spain through the discourse surrounding the issue. The first two chapters of the dissertation explore how the social forces that determined women’s status (laws, etiquette manuals, church doctrine, tradition,) contributed to the problem of domestic violence, and how incidents of violence against women were portrayed in the press, specifically in Madrid newspapers. Many voices in the nineteenth-century gender debate idealized women as “angels in the house” and lauded the home as a safe haven from the harsh outside world, but many factual and fictional accounts of women’s lives reveal a different, more dangerous, side of domesticity. The remaining chapters explore the themes of masochism, physical and psychological abuse, and sexual assault in works by five women authors. They include figures such as Fermin Caballero and Maria Pilar Sinues de Marco, who approach issues of domestic violence from a traditional and conservative point ofview, and Emilia Pardo Bazan and Carmen de Burgos, who bring a feminist critique to their representations of the problem. In the middle of these two sides is a nearly forgotten figure, Ana Garda de Ia Torre, who struggles between tradition and critique as she depicts women caught in tragic or violent situations caused by the men around them."
Leslie Maxwel Kaiura
University of Virginia
Randolph Pope
David Gies
Maria-Ines Lagos
Susan Fraiman
Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Date Added November 5, 2016
Date Modifed October 17, 2017
Collection UVA scholarship on sexual violence, 1974-

Item Relations

This item has no relations.