Catalina Clara Ramírez de Guzmán, a unique Spanish Golden Age writer

  • DATE

    17 February 2022

  • TIME

    6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome



Spain’s Golden Age provided a wealth of authors and works that have enriched our knowledge of the literary scene of the early modern period.

Names such as Cervantes, Calderón, Lope de Vega, Góngora and Quevedo are ever-present on literature courses worldwide. Female writers of the Hispanic world also played a key (even if less well-known) part in this literary scene, with authors such as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and María de Zayas now featuring in many studies of the period’s literature. A much more peripheral figure, Catalina Clara Ramírez de Guzmán, whose life and poetry can be considered unique in her time, is attracting increased attention in recent years. This intriguing 17th-century author from Extremadura merits study for a number of reasons, ranging from her witty satirical writings and detailed poetic accounts of the everyday to her family’s bitter run-ins with the fearsome Inquisition.

In this illustrated talk (which will be in English), we will include images of documents of the day, Karl McLaughlin will offer a detailed overview of the main aspects of the life and work of this fascinating poet.

Dr Karl McLaughlin is senior lecturer in Spanish at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is also a professional translator and interpreter, working for many years at diplomatic level in Spain. He has spent much of his academic career researching the life and works of Catalina Clara Ramírez de Guzmán (1618-1685) and has uncovered a wealth of documentary evidence that provides a much more accurate picture of this intriguing writer from Llerena, Extremadura. His work has helped the city’s authorities rectify incorrect biographical information relating to her in official publications. In addition to completing a PhD on Ramírez de Guzmán, he has published a number of articles on her extensive range of surviving poetry, which was not published in her lifetime but lay undiscovered for centuries in manuscripts in Madrid’s Biblioteca Nacional. He has also co-authored a modern edition of her writings. Karl is currently exploring the bitter enmity which arose in the mid-1640s between the author’s influential family and the Inquisition, which included attempts to see her put on trial for heresy.