Queens Consort, Cultural Transfer and European Politics, c.1500-1800: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Queens Consort, Cultural Transfer and European Politics, c.1500-1800

1st Edition

By Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly, Adam Morton


260 pages

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Queens Consort, Cultural Transfer and European Politics examines the roles that queens consort played in dynastic politics and cultural transfer between their natal and marital courts during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. This collection of essays analyses the part that these queens played in European politics, showing how hard and soft power, high politics and cultural influences, cannot be strictly separated. It shows that the root of these consorts’ power lay in their dynastic networks and the extent to which they cultivated them. The consorts studied in this book come from territories such as Austria, Braunschweig, Hanover, Poland, Portugal, Prussia and Saxony and travel to, among other places, Britain, Naples, Russia, Spain and Sweden. The various chapters address different types of cultural manifestation, among them collecting, portraiture, panegyric poetry, libraries, theatre and festivals, learning, genealogical literature and architecture.

The volume significantly shifts the direction of scholarship by moving beyond a focus on individual historical women to consider ‘queens consort’ as a category, making it valuable reading for students and scholars of early modern gender and political history.

Table of Contents

List of Figures


Note on Proper Names

Notes on Contributors

  1. Introduction: Politics, Culture and Queens Consort
  2. Adam Morton

  3. Art Collections as Dynastic Tool: The Jagiellonian PrincessesKatarzyna, Queen of Sweden, and Zofia, Duchess of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel
  4. Almut Bues

  5. The Consort in the Theatre of Power: Maria Amalia of Saxony, Queen of the Two Sicilies, Queen of Spain
  6. Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly

  7. The ‘Two Bodies’ of the Female Sovereign: Awkward Hierarchies in Images of Empress Maria Theresia, Catherine the Great of Russia and their Male Consorts
  8. Christina Strunck

  9. Luise Ulrike of Prussia, Queen of Sweden, and the Search for Political Space
  10. Elise Dermineur and Svante Norrhem

  11. Marriage in a Global Context: Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland
  12. Clarissa Campbell Orr

  13. Dynastic Positioning and Political Newsgathering: Hedwig Eleonora of Schleswig-Gottorf, Queen of Sweden, and her Correspondence
  14. Jill Bepler

  15. Greeting the Stuart Queens Consort: Cultural Exchange and the nuptial texts for Henrietta Maria of France and Catherine of Braganza, Queens of Britain
  16. Anna-Marie Linnell

  17. Sanctity and Suspicion: Catholicism, Conspiracy and the Representation of Henrietta Maria of France and Catherine of Braganza, Queens of Britain
  18. Adam Morton

  19. Four Weddings and Five Funerals: Dynastic Integration and Cultural Transfer between the Houses of Braunschweig and Brandenburg in the Eighteenth Century
  20. Thomas Biskup

  21. Afterword: Queens Consort, Cultural Transfer and European Politics

Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly


About the Authors

Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly is Professor of German Literature at the University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. Among her books are Court Culture in Dresden from Renaissance to Baroque (2002) and, most recently, Beauty or Beast? The Woman Warrior in the German Imagination from the Renaissance to the Present (2010).

Adam Morton is Lecturer in British History at Newcastle University. He is the editor of Getting Along? Religious Identities and Confessional Relations in Early Modern England (2012) and Illustrated Religious Texts in the North of Europe 1500-1800 (2014).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Renaissance