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

Anne J. Cruz, Maria Galli Stampino

Anne J. Cruz and Maria Galli Stampino, Early Modern Habsburg Women. Transnational Contexts, Cultural Conflicts, Dynastic Continuities, Ashgate, décembre 2013, 312 pages, ISBN : 978-1-4724-1164-8.

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 at that same court.

Contents : Introduction, Anne J. Cruz ; Part I Transnational and Transcultural Ties : ‘Bella gerant alii’ : Laodamia’s sisters/Habsburg brides : leaving home for the sake of the house, Joseph F. Patrouch ; Maria Maddalena, Archduchess of Austria and Grand Duchess of Florence : negotiating performance, traditions and taste, Maria Galli Stampino ; The three lives of Margherita of Savoy-Gonzaga, Duchess of Mantua and Vicereine of Portugal, Blythe Alice Raviola. Part II Epistolary and Spatial Power : ‘Lord of my soul’ : the letters of Catalina Micaela, Duchess of Savoy, to her husband, Carlo Emanuele I, Magdalena S. Sánchez ; An illegitimate Habsburg : Sor Ana Dorotea de la Concepción, Marquise of Austria, Vanessa de Cruz Medina ; From Castile to Burgundy : the evolution of the queens’ households during the 16th century, Félix Labrador Arroyo. Part III Birthing Habsburgs : Giving birth at the Habsburg court : visual and material culture, María Cruz de Carlos Varona ; Habsburg motherhood : the power of Mariana of Austria, mother and regent for Carlos II of Spain, Silvia Z. Mitchell. Part IV Visual and Sartorial Politics : Mariana of Austria’s portraits as ruler-governor and curadora by Juan Carreño de Miranda and Claudio Coello, Mercedes Llorente ; Isabel of Borbón’s sartorial politics : from French princess to Habsburg regent, Laura Oliván Santaliestra ; The making and meaning of the monastic habit at Spanish Habsburg courts, Cordula van Wyhe ; Index.