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Virtuous or Villainess? : The Image of the Royal Mother from the Early Medieval to the Early Modern Era

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This collection addresses royal motherhood across Europe, from both the medieval and Early Modern periods, including (in)famous and not-so-famousroyal mothers. The essays in this collection reveal the complexities and thesubtleties inherent in the role of royal mothers and challenges thesetraditional stereotypes. The volume provides a fresh re-evaluation of these women,from those who have been given an almost saintly status to those who struggledagainst contemporary chronicles and propaganda that perpetuated the stereotypesassociated with ‘bad mothers’– these particular images of saintliness and wickednesshave persisted right into the modern era. This series of intriguing casestudies reveals how royal mothers were perceived by their contemporaries and explores the motivation for the ways in which they are depicted in modern popularculture.  Taken together with thecompanion volume, Royal Mothers and theirRuling Children, this collection sheds new light on the important andchallenging role of mothers within the framework of monarchy and at theepicenter of power.

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