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Don Juan Manuel
Spanish prince and writer (1282-1348)wd:Q373007
country of citizenship: Crown of Castile
language of expression: Spanish
occupation: writer, politician
position held: Mayordomo mayor of the King of Castile, Adelantado mayor de la frontera de Andalucía, Adelantado mayor de Murcia
Don Juan Manuel (5 May 1282 – 13 June 1348) was a Spanish medieval writer, nephew of Alfonso X of Castile, son of Manuel of Castile and Beatrice of Savoy. He inherited from his father the great Seigneury of Villena, receiving the titles of Lord, Duke and lastly Prince of Villena. He married three times, choosing his wives for political and economic convenience, and worked to match his children with partners associated with royalty. Juan Manuel became one of the richest and most powerful men of his time, coining his own currency as the kings did. During his life, he was criticised for choosing literature as his vocation, an activity thought inferior for a nobleman of such prestige.
Some confusion exists about his names and titles. Juan Manuel often refers to himself in his books as "Don Juan, son of infante don Manuel". But some 19th and early 20th century scholars started calling him infante, a title he did not possess, as in medieval Castile only the sons of kings were called infantes (and he was the grandson of Fernando III). The same applies for the title of Duke and Prince of Villena, that he received from Alfonso IV and Pedro IV of Aragón. While these titles follow the Aragonese nobiliary traditions, they were of little interest to the Castilian author, to the point that he never used them in his writings or correspondence, and they have only been associated to him by a handful of scholars.
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book by Juan Manuel van Peñafielwd:Q5974989
author: Don Juan Manuel