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Queen consort, queen mother: the power and authority of fourteenth century Plantagenet queens

Benz, Lisa (2009) Queen consort, queen mother: the power and authority of fourteenth century Plantagenet queens. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Between 1299 and 1369 there was a continuous succession of queen consorts and queen dowagers. Margaret of France was queen consort between 1299 and 1307 and died in 1318, Isabella of France was queen consort between 1308 and 1327 and she died in 1358 and Philippa of Hainault was queen consort between 1328 and 1369 when she died. A continuous transition between queens is particularly exciting for a study of queenship because an analysis of these queens' activities provides a unique opportunity to form conclusions about nonnative queenly behaviour, and to determine the extent to which their activities depended on circumstance and inclination. The overlapping of consorts and dowagers also allows us to study the relationships between these women. Yet there has been no full-length study which takes advantage of this exceptional period in late medieval history. This present study proposes to do so, and frames this examination around four major themes: gender; status; the concept of the crown; and power and authority. By using administrative, visual and literary sources this study seeks to address the themes of gender, status, medieval concepts of the crown and power and authority. Through these themes it expounds upon the relationship of the ideology of queenship and the historical actions of three fourteenth-century queens. This thesis will demarcate when the queen's power is symbolic or achieved through her own initiative. It examines the extent to which gender and status dictated the nature of her power and authority, and it will use the concept of the crown to assess her royal status. It acknowledges that gender inequality existed in the medieval period; the queen could not rule in her own right, nor act as chancellor, treasurer or member of parliament. However, instead of emphasizing the queen's independence or her constraints and limitations, this study seeks to provide an even-handed analysis of how the queen acted. Overall, this thesis concludes that not only did the queen remain a visible part of the centralized monarchy, she also held official roles within government She was embedded in the administrative apparatus of government as a wife, a mother and a widely recognized representative of the crown.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.558569
Depositing User: EThOS Import (York)
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2016 17:17
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2016 17:17
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14154

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