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Palgrave Macmillan

Queenship in Medieval Europe

ISBN 9780230276451
Publication Date July 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Queenship and Power

Medieval queens led richly complex lives and were highly visible women active in a man's world. Linked to kings by marriage, family, and property, queens were vital to the institution of monarchy.

In this comprehensive and accessible introduction to the study of queenship, Theresa Earenfight documents the lives and works of queens and empresses across Europe, Byzantium, and the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages. The book:

* introduces pivotal research and sources in queenship studies, and includes exciting and innovative new archival research
* highlights four crucial moments across the full span of the Middle Ages – ca. 300, 700, 1100, and 1350 – when Christianity, education, lineage, and marriage law fundamentally altered the practice of queenship
* examines theories and practices of queenship in the context of wider issues of gender, authority, and power.

This is an invaluable and illuminating text for students, scholars and other readers interested in the role of royal women in medieval society.

THERESA EARENFIGHT is Professor of History at Seattle University, USA. She is author of The King's Other Body: María of Castile and the Crown of Aragon (2010) and editor of Queenship and Political Power in Medieval and Early Modern Spain (2005).

Introduction: Not Partial, Prejudiced or Arrogant: The Study of Queens and Queenship in Medieval Europe
Themes and Variations: Roman, Barbarian and Christian Societies in the Fashioning of Medieval Queenship, c. 300-700
Legitimizing the King's Wife and Bed Companion, c. 700-1100
'The Link of Conjugal Troth': Queenship as Family Practice, c. 1100-1350
Queenship in a Crisis of Monarchy, c. 1350-1500
The Transformation of Queenship from Medieval to Early Modern Europe
Selected Primary Sources and Further Reading
Notes
Index

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Reviews

"The author skilfully employs current research from such fields as history, literary analysis and art history to improve understanding of the subject. Perhaps the most salient fearture of the study is its juxtaposition of specific examples of queens' lives and careers with theories, both modern and medieval, of medieval queenship. The result is a convincing argument that, regardless of where or when, queens' roles centered on family, religion, and culture, but political circumstrances altered cases. Moreover, the bibliography, suggestions for further reading and rsearch, and footnotes are extensive. Recommended." - Choice
"Pleasurable and stimulating to read. The book is very well-researched; the author has mastered the most recent bibliography of what constitutes queenship studies, and constructs a vivid and believable portrayal of its evolution. It has the potential to be adopted in different types of courses – including medieval European history survey classes and history seminars focusing on political power, gender, etc." – Núria Silleras-Fernández, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
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