Of Love and Loathing


Of Love and Loathing

Marital Life, Strife, and Intimacy in the Colonial Andes, 1750–1825

Nicholas A. Robins

292 pages
Glossary, index


December 2015


$60.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

December 2015


$60.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

December 2015


$60.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Policies concerning marriage, morality, and intimacy were central to the efforts of the Spanish monarchy to maintain social control in colonial Charcas. The Bourbon Crown depended on the patriarchal, caste-based social system on which its colonial enterprise was built to maintain control over a vast region that today encompasses Bolivia and parts of Peru, Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina. Intimacy became a fulcrum of social control contested by individuals, families, the state, and the Catholic Church, and deeply personal emotions and experiences were unwillingly transformed into social, political, and moral challenges.
In Of Love and Loathing, Nicholas A. Robins examines the application of late-colonial Bourbon policies concerning marriage, morality, and intimacy. Robins examines how such policies and the means by which they were enforced highlight the moral, racial, and patriarchal ideals of the time, and, more important, the degree to which the policies were evaded. Not only did free unions, illegitimate children, and de facto divorces abound, but women also had significantly more agency regarding resources, relationships, and movement than has previously been recognized. A surprising image of society emerges from Robins’s analysis, one with considerably more moral latitude than can be found from the perspectives of religious doctrine and regal edicts.

Author Bio

Nicholas A. Robins is a teaching associate professor in the Department of History at North Carolina State University. He is the author of several books, including Mercury, Mining, and Empire: The Human and Ecological Cost of Colonial Silver Mining in the Andes and Priest-Indian Conflict in Upper Peru: The Generation of Rebellion, 1750–1780.


"Of Love and Loathing is a meticulously researched and clearly articulated book. With extensive quotes from primary sources that allow readers to interpret them, historians of colonial Latin America and gender will be especially attracted to this book for course adoption. Scholars of the Andes too will enjoy the rich descriptions of colonial life."—David Carey Jr., Hispanic American Historical Review

"Of Love and Loathing is a welcome addition to the growing literature seeking to capture the complexities of female agency and patriarchy as they played out in the ecclesiastic courtroom and the moral realm."—José Carlos De la Puente Luna, Latin American Research Review

“No one has so systematically and thematically mined the range of documents and sources to paint such a comprehensive portrait of the collective conjugal history of a society, especially for the Andean regions [as Robins has]. . . . Scholars of gender relations and sexuality as well as legal historians will find much to like about this book.”—Kathryn A. Sloan, author of Runaway Daughters: Seduction, Elopement, and Honor in Nineteenth-Century Mexico

Table of Contents



1. “Crimes of Sensuality”: Morality Versus Affinity

2. The “Owner of Her Will”: Pragmática and Patriarchy

3. “Without Excuse nor Reply”: Moral Imperatives

4. The “Executioner of My Innocence”: Domestic Violence and Rape

5. “The Most Bitter Life One Can Conceive”: Dilatory Divorces






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