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About this book

Offering a fascinating survey of European queenship from 1500-1800, with each chapter beginning with a discussion of the archetypal queens of Western, Central, Northern, and Eastern Europe, Charles Beem explores the particular nature of the regional forms and functions of queenship – including consorts, queens regnant, dowagers and female regents – while interrogating our understanding of the dynamic operations of queenship as a transnational phenomenon in European history. Incorporating detailed discussions of gender and material culture, this book encourages both instructors and student readers to engage in meaningful further research on queenship.

This is an excellent overview of an exciting area of historical research and is the perfect companion for undergraduate and postgraduate students of History with an interest in queens and queenship.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Early Modern European Queenship

Abstract
When we think of a queen, dressed in lavish robes, dripping in jewels, wearing a crown, and sitting on a throne, we often conjure up images of Europe’s early modern queens. At the beginning of this era was the formidable Isabella of Castile, who reigned jointly with her husband Ferdinand of Aragon, conquered the Spanish Muslims, and funded Christopher Columbus’s initial voyage to the new world. Or, perhaps the most famous queen of all time, Elizabeth I of England, who reigned confidently as an unmarried virgin queen and gave her name to a particularly illustrious age of English history. More than any other queen in history, Elizabeth’s historical image has been perennially reproduced in countless popular histories, novels, and feature films.
Charles Beem

2. Mary Queen of Scots and Early Modern British Queenship

Abstract
On the morning of February 8, 1587, Mary Stewart (or Stuart), dowager queen of France and deposed queen of Scotland, was led out to the great hall of Fotheringay Castle to be beheaded for conspiring to kill Elizabeth I of England. Protesting her innocence to the last, and fully cognizant of the significance of her final moments on earth as a queen, Mary invested her execution with as much symbolic meaning and iconic representation as she could muster. Her performance was flawless. Literally dressed to die, she wore black satin and a veil, as a thrice widowed woman, with an abundance of accessories that proclaimed her devotion to the Roman Catholic faith. After ostentatiously reciting loud prayers to drown out the words of a Protestant clergyman, her attendants peeled off layers of clothing that revealed her bright crimson red petticoats, symbolizing the martyrdom she was claiming as the cause of her death. All accounts agree that she met her death both bravely and serenely, a final display of queenly courage and fortitude. Twenty-five years later, Mary’s son James VI & I reinterred her in a marble tomb inside the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey, where her remains rest with those of the Tudor Queens Elizabeth of York, Mary I, and Elizabeth I.
Charles Beem

3. Anne of Austria and Franco-Iberian Queenship

Abstract
On the morning of February 8, 1587, Mary Stewart (or Stuart), dowager queen of France and deposed queen of Scotland, was led out to the great hall of Fotheringay Castle to be beheaded for conspiring to kill Elizabeth I of England. Protesting her innocence to the last, and fully cognizant of the significance of her final moments on earth as a queen, Mary invested her execution with as much symbolic meaning and iconic representation as she could muster. Her performance was flawless. Literally dressed to die, she wore black satin and a veil, as a thrice widowed woman, with an abundance of accessories that proclaimed her devotion to the Roman Catholic faith. After ostentatiously reciting loud prayers to drown out the words of a Protestant clergyman, her attendants peeled off layers of clothing that revealed her bright crimson red petticoats, symbolizing the martyrdom she was claiming as the cause of her death. All accounts agree that she met her death both bravely and serenely, a final display of queenly courage and fortitude. Twenty-five years later, Mary’s son James VI & I reinterred her in a marble tomb inside the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey, where her remains rest with those of the Tudor Queens Elizabeth of York, Mary I, and Elizabeth I.
Charles Beem

4. The Empress Maria Thersa and Queenship in the Holy Roman Empire

Abstract
On the morning of February 8, 1587, Mary Stewart (or Stuart), dowager queen of France and deposed queen of Scotland, was led out to the great hall of Fotheringay Castle to be beheaded for conspiring to kill Elizabeth I of England. Protesting her innocence to the last, and fully cognizant of the significance of her final moments on earth as a queen, Mary invested her execution with as much symbolic meaning and iconic representation as she could muster. Her performance was flawless. Literally dressed to die, she wore black satin and a veil, as a thrice widowed woman, with an abundance of accessories that proclaimed her devotion to the Roman Catholic faith. After ostentatiously reciting loud prayers to drown out the words of a Protestant clergyman, her attendants peeled off layers of clothing that revealed her bright crimson red petticoats, symbolizing the martyrdom she was claiming as the cause of her death. All accounts agree that she met her death both bravely and serenely, a final display of queenly courage and fortitude. Twenty-five years later, Mary’s son James VI & I reinterred her in a marble tomb inside the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey, where her remains rest with those of the Tudor Queens Elizabeth of York, Mary I, and Elizabeth I.
Charles Beem

5. Bona Sforza and Queenship in the Baltic Kingdoms

Abstract
On the morning of February 8, 1587, Mary Stewart (or Stuart), dowager queen of France and deposed queen of Scotland, was led out to the great hall of Fotheringay Castle to be beheaded for conspiring to kill Elizabeth I of England. Protesting her innocence to the last, and fully cognizant of the significance of her final moments on earth as a queen, Mary invested her execution with as much symbolic meaning and iconic representation as she could muster. Her performance was flawless. Literally dressed to die, she wore black satin and a veil, as a thrice widowed woman, with an abundance of accessories that proclaimed her devotion to the Roman Catholic faith. After ostentatiously reciting loud prayers to drown out the words of a Protestant clergyman, her attendants peeled off layers of clothing that revealed her bright crimson red petticoats, symbolizing the martyrdom she was claiming as the cause of her death. All accounts agree that she met her death both bravely and serenely, a final display of queenly courage and fortitude. Twenty-five years later, Mary’s son James VI & I reinterred her in a marble tomb inside the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey, where her remains rest with those of the Tudor Queens Elizabeth of York, Mary I, and Elizabeth I.
Charles Beem

6. Catherine II “The Great” and Russian Queenship

Abstract
On the morning of February 8, 1587, Mary Stewart (or Stuart), dowager queen of France and deposed queen of Scotland, was led out to the great hall of Fotheringay Castle to be beheaded for conspiring to kill Elizabeth I of England. Protesting her innocence to the last, and fully cognizant of the significance of her final moments on earth as a queen, Mary invested her execution with as much symbolic meaning and iconic representation as she could muster. Her performance was flawless. Literally dressed to die, she wore black satin and a veil, as a thrice widowed woman, with an abundance of accessories that proclaimed her devotion to the Roman Catholic faith. After ostentatiously reciting loud prayers to drown out the words of a Protestant clergyman, her attendants peeled off layers of clothing that revealed her bright crimson red petticoats, symbolizing the martyrdom she was claiming as the cause of her death. All accounts agree that she met her death both bravely and serenely, a final display of queenly courage and fortitude. Twenty-five years later, Mary’s son James VI & I reinterred her in a marble tomb inside the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey, where her remains rest with those of the Tudor Queens Elizabeth of York, Mary I, and Elizabeth I.
Charles Beem
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