13 Apr: The Crazy Queen of Spain

Joanna of Castile, was, as a young lady, remarked upon for her intellect and good companionship, and married off to prize catch Philip the Handsome – but by the time she died on 13th April, 1555 she was known colloquially by the name that’s stuck ever since: ‘Joanna The Mad’.

She had, by then, spent 45 years in prison at the hands of her own family, who had a political advantage in exaggerating her moments of instability to keep control of her territories.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly ask whether Joanna’s problems can be traced back to her troubling childhood; reveal her disturbing behaviour whilst she grieved for her philandering husband; and consider her legacy as a prototype for the ‘mad woman in the attic’ seen in so much Western literature…

Further Reading: