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Notions of Privacy at Early Modern European Courts. Reassessing the Public and Private Divide, 1400-1800

Dustin M. Neighbors, Lars Cyril Nørgaard, Elena Woodacre (éd.)

NEIGHBORS Dustin M., NØRGAARD Lars Cyril, WOODACRE Elena (éd.), Notions of Privacy at Early Modern European Courts. Reassessing the Public and Private Divide, 1400-1800, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2024.

ISBN : 9789463720076

Grand, extravagant, magnificent, scandalous, corrupt, political, personal, fractious ; these are terms often associated with the medieval and early modern courts. Moreover, the court constituted a forceful nexus in the social world, which was central to the legitimacy and authority of rulership. As such, courts shaped European politics and culture : architecture, art, fashion, patronage, and cultural exchanges were integral to the spectacle of European courts. Researchers have convincingly emphasised the public nature of courtly events, procedures, and ceremonies. Nevertheless, court life also involved pockets of privacy, which have yet to be systematically addressed. This edited collection addresses this lacuna and offers interpretations that urge us to reassesses the public nature of European courts. Thus, the proposed publication will fertilise the grounds for a discussion of the past and future of court studies. Indeed, the contributions make us reconsider present-day understandings of privacy as a stable and uncontestable notion.

Table des matières
List of Illustrations
List of Contributors
Reassessing the Public/Private Nature of European Court Cultures : An Introduction - Dustin M. Neighbors
Theories and Conceptions of Courts
Chapter 1 : Considering Privacy at Court - Mette Birkedal Bruun and Lars Cyril Nørgaard
Chapter 2 : Privacy at Court ? Reconsidering the Public/Private Dichotomy - Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger
Chapter 3 : The Monarch Exposed : The Negotiation of Privacy at the Early Modern Court - Dries Raeymaekers
Architecture, Spaces and Access
Chapter 4 : Institutionalised Privacy ?—The Need to Achieve and Defend Privacy in the Frauenzimmer - Britta Kägler
Chapter 5 : Public Displays of Affection : Creating Spheres of Apparent Royal Intimacy in Public - Fabian Persson
Patronage, Art and Literature
Chapter 6 : The Translation of Court Culture from the Burgundian Court to the Kingdom of Castile : The Sovereign’s Privacy and Relationship with Court Artists - Oskar J. Rojewski
Chapter 7 : On Privacy—or Rather the Lack Thereof—at Court in the Polish Literature of the Sixteenth Century - Marta Wojtkowska-Maksymik
Chapter 8 : ‘Au Milieu d’une Cour Superbe & Tumultueuse’ : Devotional privacy at the Court of Versailles - Mette Birkedal Bruun and Lars Cyril Nørgaard
Chapter 9 : Private Justice or Ducal Power ? Testing the Strength of Public Authority and Dynastic Loyalty by Trans-national Nobles at the Court of the Duke of Lorraine - Jonathan Spangler
Chapter 10 : The Politics of Privacy : Examining Influence and Personal Relationships at the English and Holy Roman Imperial Court - Dustin M. Neighbors and Elena Woodacre


Dustin M. Neighbors
Dustin M. Neighbors is the project coordinator and a postdoctoral researcher for the EU-Horizon funded project, Colour4CRAFTS at the University of Helsinki. His main area of research is on monarchy and court culture, with an emphasis on the performativity of gender, political and material culture, cultural practices and history (i.e., hunting) within sixteenth and seventeenth-century Northern Europe, and the employment of digital research methods.

Lars Cyril Nørgaard
Lars Cyril Nørgaard is Assistant Professor at the Centre for Privacy Studies at the University of Copenhagen. He was awarded an international postdoctoral fellowship from the Independent Research Foundation Denmark. His research interests include but are not limited to the tension between religious seclusion and societal engagement, the relationship between manuscript text, print, paratext and image, and the ambiguous nature of premodern privacy.

Elena Woodacre
Elena Woodacre is Reader in Renaissance History at the University of Winchester. She is a specialist in queenship and royal studies and has published extensively in this area. She is the editor-in-chief of the Royal Studies Journal and two book series with Routledge and ARC Humanities Press. Her most recent monographs include a biography of Joan of Navarre (2022) and Queens and Queenship (2021).