Queenship and Revolution in Early Modern Europe: Henrietta Maria and Marie Antoinette (Queenship and Power) 1st ed. 2016 Edition, Kindle Edition
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The changing and contested nature of queenship and royal authority is another insight from this book. Many of us assume that European monarchs of this era had unlimited authority and power - similar to the 20th century's dictators. However, kings and queens in the early modern era had to campaign for support much like today's elected officials and they faced problems. For example, Charles I issued a proclamation pardoning criminals yet the evidence shows that this decree was often ignored. In other cases, royal decisions were fully implemented. Absolute power may have been a dream for some in the early modern period but it was rarely achieved in practice.
While the book is firmly grounded in early modern Europe and robust scholarship, there are timeless themes and struggles explored that make for engaging reading. For example, controversies and criticism over royal parenting decisions and child-rearing philosophy continue to resonate to the modern day. In addition, Dr Harris demonstrates that many courtiers and noble families were motivated to act by the drive for patronage appointments (e.g. seeking employment in the queen's household or as a royal governess). There was still fierce competition for high prestige roles and places at court despite the fact that many nobles had considerable resources and land.