Nicole von Germeten's Violent Delights, Violent Ends examines how women in the port city of Cartagena de Indias (in present-day Colombia) “took control of their own sex lives” and used a rhetoric embedded in concepts of sex and honor to advance their cases in Spanish colonial courts (p. 3). Women in colonial Cartagena de Indias, von Germeten argues, “understood and manipulated” their sexuality in colonial courts and expanded what she sees as the narrow boundaries of sexuality within which Spanish colonial courts and societies functioned (p. 232).

Violent Delights, Violent Ends joins a growing number of works in English that examine the history of early modern Spanish Caribbean locales. Von Germeten's book is an engagingly written close reading of about 24 judicial cases (focusing on half of them) dealing with sexual violence, honor killing, witchcraft, adultery, and estupro heard by the Inquisition...

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