1st Edition

Early Modern Habsburg Women Transnational Contexts, Cultural Conflicts, Dynastic Continuities

Edited By Anne J. Cruz, Maria Galli Stampino Copyright 2013

    As the first comprehensive volume devoted entirely to women of both the Spanish and Austrian Habsburg royal dynasties spanning the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, this interdisciplinary collection illuminates their complex and often contradictory political functions and their interrelations across early modern national borders. The essays in this volume investigate the lives of six Habsburg women who, as queens consort and queen regent, duchesses, a vicereine, and a nun, left an indelible mark on the diplomatic and cultural map of early modern Europe. Contributors examine the national and transnational impact of these notable women through their biographies, and explore how they transferred their cultural, religious, and political traditions as the women moved from one court to another. Early Modern Habsburg Women investigates the complex lives of Philip II’s daughter, the Infanta Catalina Micaela (1567-1597); her daughter, Margherita of Savoy, Vicereine of Portugal (1589-1655); and Maria Maddalena of Austria, Grand Duchess of Florence (1589-1631). The second generation of Habsburg women that the volume addresses includes Philip IV’s first wife, Isabel of Borbón (1602-1644), who became a Habsburg by marriage; Rudolph II’s daughter, Sor Ana Dorotea (1611-1694), the only Habsburg nun in the collection; and Philip IV’s second wife, Mariana of Austria (1634-1696), queen regent and mother to the last Spanish Habsburg. Through archival documents, pictorial and historical accounts, literature, and correspondence, as well as cultural artifacts such as paintings, jewelry, and garments, this volume brings to light the impact of Habsburg women in the broader historical, political, and cultural contexts. The essays fill a scholarly need by covering various phases of the lives of early modern royal women, who often struggled to sustain their family loyalty while at the service of a foreign court, even when protecting and preparing their heirs for rule a

    Introduction; I: Transnational and Transcultural Ties; 1: “Bella gerant alii.” Laodamia's Sisters, Habsburg Brides; 2: Maria Maddalena, Archduchess of Austria and Grand Duchess of Florence; 3: The Three Lives of Margherita of Savoy-Gonzaga, Duchess of Mantua and Vicereine of Portugal *; II: Epistolary and Spatial Power; 4: “Lord of my soul”; 5: An Illegitimate Habsburg; 6: From Castile to Burgundy; III: Birthing Habsburgs; 7: Giving Birth at the Habsburg Court; 8: Habsburg Motherhood; IV: Visual and Sartorial Politics; 9: Mariana of Austria's Portraits as Ruler-Governor and Curadora by Juan Carreño de Miranda and Claudio Coello; 10: Isabel of Borbón's Sartorial Politics; 11: The Making and Meaning of the Monastic Habit at Spanish Habsburg Courts 1


    Anne J. Cruz is Professor of Spanish and Cooper Fellow at the University of Miami, USA. Maria Galli Stampino is Professor of Italian and French at the University of Miami, USA.

    Prize: Best Collaborative Project of 2013 in Gender and Women's Studies (Honorable Mention) from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women

    '... [a] rich and multifaceted study that examines the real power of early modern Habsburg women, a subject traditionally ignored or undervalued by historians. It focuses on the social, cultural, and political contributions of six Habsburg women, as queens, duchesses, vicereines or in one fascinating case, a nun.' Barbara Weissberger, University of Minnesota, and author of Isabel Rules: Constructing Queenship, Wielding Power

    ’This collection is an excellent contribution to extant scholarship on the Hapsburg dynasty, combining a number of disciplines and approaches in-cluding gender studies, art history, literature and drama, court studies and po-litical history in order to produce a volume replete with strong studies. The scholarship is of a very high calibre ...’ Royal Studies Journal

    '... a welcome contribution to the growing body of scholarship on early modern women and gender as well as to those focused on political culture and imperial identities in early modern Europe.' Sixteenth Century Journal

    '... this collection of essays demonstrates a high level of scholarship and raises interesting questions regarding the duties and opportunities available to female members of the Habsburg clan. It is a welcome addition to the study of early modern women, and will, hopefully, stimulate further collective and comparative work on these - and other - still little known but nevertheless important figures.' Renaissance & Reformation

    'This volume appropriately highlights the transnational, often-conflictive aspects of dynastic politics, including contributions from authors based in Europe as well as the United States. ... the collection offers insights that could be crucial for developing an integrated, multidisciplinary approach.' Renaissance Quarterly