Queenship at the Renaissance Courts of Britain
Title Details

201 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

4 line. Illustrations

Series: Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series

Imprint: Royal Historical Society

Queenship at the Renaissance Courts of Britain

Catherine of Aragon and Margaret Tudor, 1503-1533

by Michelle L. Beer

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  • Author
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A study of the performance of queenship by two Tudor monarchs, showing the strategies they used to assert their power.
Catherine of Aragon (r.1509-33) and her sister-in-law Margaret Tudor (r.1503-13) presided as queens over the glittering sixteenth-century courts of England and Scotland, alongside their husbands Henry VIII of England and James IVof Scotland. Although we know a great deal about these two formidable sixteenth-century kings, we understand very little about how their two queens contributed to their reigns. How did these young, foreign women become effective and trusted consorts, and powerful political figures in their own right?
This book argues that Catherine and Margaret's performance of queenship combined medieval queenly virtues with the new opportunities for influence and power offered by Renaissance court culture. Royal rituals such as childbirth and the Royal Maundy, courtly spectacles such as tournaments, banquets and diplomatic summits, or practices such as arranged marriages and gift-giving, were all moments when Catherine and Margaret could assert their honour, status and identity as queens. Their husbands' support for their activities at court helped bring them the influence and patronage necessary to pursue their ownpolitical goals and obtain favour and rewards for their servants and followers. Situating Catherine and Margaret's careers within the history of the royal courts of England and Scotland and amongst their queenly peers, this book reveals these two queens as intimately connected agents of political influence and dynastic power.
Introduction
Elizabeth of York
Material magnificence, royal identity and the queen's body
The social queen
Patronage in partnership
Queenship and pre-Reformation piety
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

MICHELLE BEER is an independent researcher working in Oakland, California.

"This monograph is a very strong piece of scholarship; it is well constructed and clearly written and is highly recommended for both scholars and students. Beer . . . offers innovative discussions about public piety, the queen's role as hostess, and the use not only of material culture but also of material itself, for the projection of queenly authority." RENAISSANCE QUARTERLY
"[A]n invaluable resource for advanced students and researchers assessing the early modern court or the gendered exercise of power in Renaissance culture." RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION / RENAISSANCE ET RÉFORME

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9780861933556

May 2021

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9780861933488

October 2018

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9781787443617

October 2018

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Title Details

201 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

4 line. Illustrations

Series: Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series

Imprint: Royal Historical Society