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Dynastic Identity in Early Modern Europe - Rulers, Aristocrats and the Formation of Identities

Aristocratic dynasties have long been regarded as fundamental to the development of early modern society and government. Yet recent work by political historians has increasingly questioned the dominant role of ruling families in state formation, underlining instead the continued importance and independence of individuals. In order to take a fresh look at the subject, this volume provides a broad discussion on the formation of dynastic identities in relationship to the lineage’s own history, other families within the social elite, and the ruling dynasty.

Liesbeth Geevers and Mirella Marini (eds.)
15 December 2015


Avant-propos, Duc d’ Arenberg;

Introduction: aristocracy, dynasty and identity in early modern Europe, 1520-1700, Liesbeth Geevers and Mirella Marini.

Part I

Identity, Ethnicity and Monarchy: Aristocratic identity formation in 17th-century Ireland, Jane Ohlmeyer;

The newcomer’s dilemma: Henry IV of France and James I of England, Ronald G. Asch;

Dynasty and elites: from early modern Europe to late imperial China, Jeroen Duindam.

Part II 

Identity Formation and Family Relations: The Chièvres legacy, the Croÿ family and litigation in Paris. Dynastic identities between the Low Countries and France (1519-1559), Violet Soen;

From Arenberg to Aarschot and back again: female inheritance and the disputed 'merger' of two aristocratic identities, Mirella Marini;

Points of transferral: Mademoiselle de Guise’s will and the transferability of dynastic identity, Jonathan Spangler.

Part III

Manufacturing Identity: The fruits of war: the representation of Alessandro Farnese in Paolo Rinaldi’s Liber Relationum, Sebastiaan Derks;

To give to airy nothing a local habitation and a name: creating two great Swedish noble families, Fabian Persson;

The Nassau orphans. the disputed legacy of William of Orange and the construction of the Prince of Orange (1584-1675), Liesbeth Geevers;

Conclusion: ‘The line of descent of nobles is from the blood of kings’: reflections on dynastic identity, Hamish Scott.

Bibliography; Index.

Ashgate, December 2015
310 pages
ISBN 978-1-4094-6326-9

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