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Royal Childhood and Child. Kingship Boy Kings in England, Scotland, France and Germany, c. 1050–1262

Emily Joan Ward

WARD Emily Joan, 2022, Royal Childhood and Child. Kingship Boy Kings in England, Scotland, France and Germany, c. 1050–1262, Camrbidge, Cambridge University Press.

ISBN : 978-1-10883-837-5. Prix : GBP 90,00.

Refining adult-focused perspectives on medieval rulership, Emily Joan Ward exposes the problematic nature of working from the assumption that kingship equated to adult power. Children’s participation and political assent could be important facets of the day-to-day activities of rule, as this study shows through an examination of royal charters, oaths to young boys, cross-kingdom diplomacy and coronation. The first comparative and thematic study of child rulership in this period, Ward analyses eight case studies across northwestern Europe from c.1050 to c.1250. The book stresses innovations and adaptations in royal government, questions the exaggeration of political disorder under a boy king, and suggests a ruler’s childhood posed far less of a challenge than their adolescence and youth. Uniting social, cultural and political historical methodologies, Ward unveils how wider societal changes between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries altered children’s lived experiences of royal rule and modified how people thought about child kingship.

Emily Joan Ward is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh. She began her British Academy funded project on ‘Adolescence and Belonging in Medieval Europe, c.1000–c.1250’ in her previous role at University College London. Royal Childhood and Child Kingship is her first book.

Table des matières :

Royal childhood and child kingship : An introduction
Part I. Royal Childhood and Child Kingship : Models and History :
Children and kingship in the early and central Middle Ages
Woe to thee, O land ? Models of child kingship
Part II. Royal Childhood : Preparation for the Throne :
Familial education : Preparing boys to be kings
Loyalty, diplomacy and (co-)kingship : Preparing political communities
The royal deathbed : Preparing for child kingship
Part III. Child Kingship : Guardianship and Royal Rule :
Guardianship, regency and legality
Adapting and collaborating : Child kingship and royal rule
Feasting princes ? Violence, conflict and child kingship
Entering adolescence : Knighting, seals and royal maturity
Conclusion : Re-thinking child kingship, c. 1050–1262.