Gender and Political Culture in Early Modern Europe investigates the gendered nature of political culture across early modern Europe by exploring the relationship between gender, power, and political authority and influence. This collection offers a rethinking of what constituted ‘politics’ and a reconsideration of how men and women operated as part of political culture. It demonstrates how underlying structures could enable or constrain political action, and how political power and influence could be exercised through social and cultural practices.  

The book is divided into four parts - diplomacy, gifts and the politics of exchange; socio-economic structures; gendered politics at court; and voting and political representations – each of which looks at a series of interrelated themes exploring the ways in which political culture is inflected by questions of gender.  In addition to examples drawn from across Europe, including Austria, the Dutch Republic, the Italian States and Scandinavia, the volume also takes a transnational comparative approach, crossing national borders, while the concluding chapter, by Merry Wiesner-Hanks, offers a global perspective on the field and encourages comparative analysis both chronologically and geographically. 

As the first collection to draw together early modern gender and political culture, this book is the perfect starting point for students exploring this fascinating topic.

part |46 pages


chapter 1|22 pages


Rethinking gender and political culture in early modern Europe
ByJames Daybell, Svante Norrhem

chapter 2|22 pages

Gender, Politics and Archives in Early Modern England

ByJames Daybell

part I|40 pages

Diplomacy, gifts and the politics of exchange

chapter 3|19 pages

The Gendered Power of Porcelain Among Early Modern European Dynasties

BySusan Broomhall, Jacqueline Van Gent

chapter 4|19 pages

Diplomats and Kin Networks

Diplomatic strategy and gender in Sweden, 1648–1740
ByPeter Lindström, Svante Norrhem

part II|54 pages

Socio-economic structures, gender and politics

chapter 5|18 pages

The Opportunity to Profit from Favourable Circumstances

A widow’s benefits of holding crown fiefs in Norway in the 1520s
ByRandi Bjørshol Wærdahl

chapter 6|16 pages

Regional and Family Networks

The hidden role of sisters and sisters-in-law
ByBarbara Harris

chapter 7|18 pages

Widows’ Political Strategies in Traditional Communities

Negotiating marital status and authority in eighteenth-century France
ByElise Dermineur

part III|36 pages

Women and gendered politics at court

chapter 8|15 pages

‘For Ye, Young Men, Show A Womanish Soul, Yon Maiden A Man’s’

Perspectives on female monarchy in Elizabeth’s first decade 1
ByVictoria Smith

chapter 9|19 pages

Strategies for Survival

Women at the court of the Medici (1565–1578)
BySarah Bercusson

part IV|38 pages

Voting and political representation

chapter 10|18 pages

Gender, Place and Power

Controverted elections in late Georgian England
ByElaine Chalus

chapter 11|18 pages

Gender, Politics and Voting in Early Modern Scandinavia

ByPeter Lindström, Hilde Sandvik, Åsa Karlsson Sjögren

part |22 pages


chapter 12|20 pages

Gender and Cultural Power in Global Perspective

ByMerry Wiesner-Hanks