Papers address the planned processes of change and the domestication of the young bride as well as innovative political styles aimed at inventing national traditions. Thus widowhood could entail regency for a minor son Catherine and Maria de Medici , as well as exile, return, flight, or voyages to govern distant territories.
Youth, maturity, maternity, as well as childlessness, widowhood, and old age were defined by different prerogatives of power and influence and were in turn constructed and represented through movement across physical and symbolic spaces, inside the territory of a national monarchy as well as across inter regional and transnational areas.
At all stages space was connected to the life cycle. Both shaped the specific prerogatives of power and rule. While women of aristocratic lineages mostly favoured the interests of their husbands in the public and ritualized display of rank, at times they engaged in self-promoting agendas where personal upward mobility took the lead in the competition for prestige.
Marion Lemaignan, focussing on Mathurine at the court of Henry IV in Paris, investigates the role of the female jester both within the court and in the texts producing political anti catholic critique of the court itself. The third session of the Working Papers — defining identity, constructing power- opens with a focus on the practices of ruling women in the Medici and Este courts. Sarah Bercusson discusses the experiences of three sixteenth century duchesses in, Mantua, Ferrara, and Florence: Eleonora, Barbara and Giovanna of Austria.
The essay identifies some of the obstacles that brides had to face in constructing independent courts. Guido Guerzoni, arguing for a prosopographic analysis of court records, introduces us to the courts of the Este princesses in Ferrara between the XV and the XVII centuries. Adelina Modesti, who works on grand duchess Vittoria della Rovere in late XVII century Florence, intersects gender and cultural practices of exchange and patronage in the construction of transnational networks and the public sphere.
The essay focuses on the artistic, diplomatic and political alliances that Vittoria della Rovere was able to construct as a cultural broker for her family in the wider European context. All of the articles highlight that owing to their lineage and upbringing royal and princely women were political creatures, taking part in the complex dynamic of state formation in early modern Europe. Lineage, family and kin together with competence and service to a dynasty were essential components of court culture and life, long-lasting in time and blending into processes of political professionalisation.bunijoduso.tk
Francois II by Ivan Gobry
Positioning women at the centre of court life throughout the different phases of their life courses, these contributions encourages us to rethink the ways in which historians have understood the avenues to political power and specifically the ways in which women accessed it. Arcangeli, Peyronel ed.
Calvi, R. Spinelli ed. Campbell Orr ed. Cosandey, Puissance maternelle et pouvoir politique. Hanley, Engendering the State.
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Calvi ed. Donne e genere nella storia sociale, Roma, Viella , p. Hunt, The many bodies of Marie Antoinette, in L. Hunt ed. Schulte ed. Because the bride to be was living at the court of France, the marriage ceremony was celebrated per procura by the groom's half-brother, Tristano Sforza. The bride then set off to a long journey, which lead through France and by ship to Genoa.
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When Bona finally arrived in Genoa, Galeazzo Maria would not welcome her there, because the city, at this time, was under the rule of the French king. Galeazzo Maria, however, wished to welcome his consort on his own territory. Thus, the young woman had to continue her voyage without her husband until she reached Milanese territory where the duke would join her. Promptly, an argument arouse between four rivaling parties.
Firstly, two nearby communities claimed that the meeting had taken place on their respective territory. On July 9th, , Galeazzo Maria wrote a letter to him asking to settle the question whether the territory was really his and, if so, to erect the column. However, I do claim, this dispute over the errection of the column has a larger meaning beyond mere territorial interests. It shows the centrality of space in the process of the bridal voyage and the importance of the crossing of symbolic boundaries done by the bride during her journey. It furthermore demonstrates the significance of the bridal voyage for the political representation of the nobility of early modern Europe, as will be outlined in the three points that follow.
Centrality of space in the process of the bridal voyage: The place of the first meeting of a woman and her future husband was of great significance.
Galeazzo Maria Sforza did not want to meet his bride on foreign territory, but on his own. And, more important, he wanted to mark the place of their first meeting with a column. Furthermore, there was an argument between different parties as to where the meeting had taken place and who would erect the column. The confusion about this question shows that there was more to it than just the putting up of a column. Importance of symbolic border-crossing for a bride on her journey: During her voyage, Bona of Savoy did not only cross geographical borders but also symbolic boundaries.
The farewell to her family, the handing over of the princess to the representatives of her husband, the first meeting with Galeazzo Maria Sforza and so on — all these events were carefully staged as official crossing of symbolic boundaries. The bride on her voyage did not only move through space, she also changed from daughter to wife and from a Savoyan princess to a Milanese one. She thus changed the system of cultural reference in which she moved and in which she was perceived by the people around her.
Nora ed. Centrality of the bridal voyage for the political representation of the nobility: Before arriving at the place of their first meeting, Bona of Savoy had to travel a long distance, accompanied by a big cortege of followers.
François II: Fils d’Henri II 1559-1560 (Histoire des rois de France) (French Edition)
The ship on which she sailed to Genoa had been prepared for persons, in Genoa she was expected by almost courtiers sent by her husband to welcome her. There were so many horses that part of them had to be accommodated outside the city. Because of the death of her father, the Duke of Savoy, three years before, it was the King of France, Louis XI, who sent the princess on her journey towards her future husband. For the King of France this bridal voyage was thus a family affair and he attached much importance to it.
By sending their female members all over the continent, the European nobility displayed the networks to which they belonged. Furthermore, by managing to let huge groups of people, horses and carts cross great distances, they showed their power to symbolically reduce space, thus controlling it. The bridal voyage can therefore be regarded as one of the best means for studying the aspect of space and of border-crossing as well as the self-fashioning of the ruling families of early modern Europe.
In my paper, I will examine four key moments of the bridal journey, all of them representing a symbolic boundary that had to be crossed by the bride. Beforehand, I will give a short introduction to some fundamental facts about the bridal journey, and I will discuss the normative side of the question by presenting a 15th century "manual" of bridal behavior during the voyage. The Voyage of the Bride What exactly is a bridal voyage? The bridal voyage is a social act. Its hidden symbolic value is much more important than what can be seen on the surface.
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Both, the father and the future husband of the bride were interested in demonstrating the family's network all over Europe. Moreover, the two families used the bridal voyage for showing off their political reputation and their wealth by means of this journey. Therefore, in order to represent the father's or the husband's power, the cortege following the princess on her voyage was in most cases a more or less exact copy of the princely court and of its ceremonial. For the nobility of early modern Europe the contest consisted in demonstrating wealth and power through the size of the bride's entourage or the splendor of her coach or ship.
In other times and other cultures there were other things to compete about. For the Berber people in North Africa for example, as Pierre Bourdieu has shown, a number of ritualized and institutionalized competitions took place at the moment when the party of the husband arrived in the village of the bride to fetch her. The tribe of the Teutons married in phases, one of them was called the traditio.
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First, the legates of the two kings negotiated the conditions of the marriage and the dowry. This legal act was followed by the wedding ceremony at the court of the bride. The princess 5 On the bridal voyage in general see K. Erfen, K. Spiess ed. Zotz ed. Babel, W. Paravicini ed. Jahrhundert, Stuttgart, , p. Essai d'anthropologie sociale, Paris, , p. Before crossing the border of the Visigothic kingdom, she stopped to prepare herself. She changed into ceremonial clothes and her coach was decorated, so that she would appear in all her splendor before her husband and his court.