Documenting lived experiences of men in charge of others, this collection creates a social and cultural history of early modern governing masculinities. It examines the tensions between normative discourses and lived experiences and their manifestations in a range of different sources; and explores the insecurities, anxieties and instability of masculine governance and the ways in which these were expressed (or controlled) in emotional states, language or performance. Focussing on moments of exercising power, the collection seeks to understand the methods, strategies, discourses or resources that men were able (or not) to employ in order to have this power. In order to elucidate the mechanisms of male governance the essays explore the following questions: how was male governance demonstrated and enacted through men's (and women's) bodies? What roles did women play in sustaining, supporting or undermining governing masculinities? And what are the relationship of specific spaces such as household or urban environments to notions and practice of governance? Finally, the collection emphasises the power of sources to articulate the ideas of governance held by particular social groups and to obscure those of others. Through a rich and wide range of case studies, the collection explores what distinctions can be seen in ideas of authoritative masculine behaviour across Protestant and Catholic cultures, British and Continental models, from the late medieval to the end of the eighteenth century, and between urban and national expressions of authority.
'Governing Masculinities in the Early Modern Period makes an original contribution to the growing literature on European masculinities. Importantly, a significant number of essays deal with places other than England, and the collection covers the longue durée from the 14th to the 19th centuries, creating a link between the extensive literature on medieval masculinities and the extensive literature on the eighteenth century and beyond.' Ulrike Strasser, University of California, Irvine, USA, author of State of Virginity: Politics, Religion, and Gender in a German Catholic Polity 'This stimulating collection of essays, which grew out of a symposium at the University of Western Australia on the masculinities of governing men, explores the relationships between masculinity and government in a wide range of contexts and places in early modern Europe… The essays in this collection help to broaden our understanding of the ways in which men’s authority was defined, experienced, and exercised. They make a useful contribution to the ongoing exploration of meanings of manhood in early modern Europe.' Renaissance Quarterly 'This collection brings together thirteen essays which, when read as a whole, provide important insights into constructions of masculinity in early modern Europe. The real success of this collection is the way in which it manages to provide an overarching image of masculine governance in the early modern world through the use of detailed case studies. This collection is a valuable resource for further studies into masculinity in early modern Europe.' Parergon