A Businesswoman in 16th-Century Catalonia: Hipòlita Roís de Liori and the (Text)tile

When the young Hipòlita Roís de Liori (1479-1546), Countess of Palamós, married the Catalonian widower Lluis de Requesens i Joan de Soler (1435-1509), she became part of one of the most prestigious and powerful families of the Catalonia of the time. From the moment she widowed, the Countess dedicated her life to negotiating and augmenting the family’s power and assets, future inheritance of her only daughter, Estefania de Requesens (1504-1549). The Countess of Palamós, was a woman who held and used power. She understood her public role in the household and its patrimony as an extension of her role as a mother, and she acted accordingly. Not only did the new political, economic, and technological changes brought by the arrival of modernity shape her life but, at the same time, she had a key role in shaping the future of her own family. Two examples of her business savvy and alertness to technical advances in the world of textiles are her probable introduction of silkworms to Molins de Rei (Barcelona), and the development of fabric making machinery documented in detail in her letters.

Montse Pérez-Toribio, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies presents her talk on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:30 pm in the President’s Dining Room.