The aim of this book is to offer a comprehensive analysis of the Libro de la Coronación (Escorial, &.III.3), an illustrated coronation ordo made for the King Alfonso XI of Castile c. 1328-1331. The Libro de la Coronación is the sole work of its kind designed for a Castilian king, generally unconcerned as they were by ceremonies which were intrinsic to other monarchies such as the French and English. But, even if the commission of a coronation book is remarkable on its own, the political circumstances surrounding its creation are also deserving of closer study, all the more so given that the actual knighting and coronation of Alfonso XI—at Santiago and Burgos in 1332—departed significantly from the ritual prescribed in it. As Peter Linehan pointed out twenty years ago, the manuscript’s scheme fell short of the king’s ambitions and so the codex remained unfinished. However, its very incompleteness allows us to discern in each pentimento the tensions that arose in the process of defining royal authority and its prerogatives, as well as in the constant attempt to nuance and reformulate the meanings of the rituals prescribed in its sources. In fact, the analysis of the interplay of texts and images in the Libro de la Coronación reveals the existence of profound contradictions at the core of the work since the principles underlying the creation of a coronation book as such—the description of the religious rituals intended to confer the new king a spiritual sanction—seemed to be incompatible with the tenets of Iberian ‘unsacral’ kingship.
|Bidragets oversatte titel||The 'Libro de la Coronación de Alfonso XI': An illustrated coronation book from 14th-century Castile|