Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Margreet Brandsma

PhD candidate

Dr. M. Brandsma
+31 71 527 1646

Margreet Brandsma is finishing a PhD thesis on Margaret of Burgundy (1374-1441), Countess of Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland. Her main area of interest is cultural and political history of the late medieval period, with a focus on the position of princesses.

More information about Margreet Brandsma


Margreet Brandsma is finishing a PhD thesis on Margaret of Burgundy (1374-1441), Countess of Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland. Her research interests centre on the dynastic position of medieval princesses, their financial situation, and how they perceived and expressed their identity in different phases of their life.
Her thesis focuses on Margaret of Burgundy’s position between the Bavarian and the Burgundian dynasty, in a period when the Northern part of the Netherlands gradually became overtaken by the latter, but only after many battles had been fought by her and her daughter Jacqueline of Bavaria (Jacoba van Beieren). As a princely widow, Margaret seldom appeared on the battlefield. Like her contemporaries she used other approaches to achieve her goals, including diplomacy. Part of the thesis is directed at social-economic and cultural historic themes, such as the financial position of a princely widow, her court, religious aspects of her life, and involvement in literary activities.

Fields of interest

  • Late medieval history
  • Medieval princesses

Curriculum vitae

From brine shrimps to medieval history

Margreet Brandsma was born in Tiel, The Netherlands, in 1968. Before becoming a historian, she did a PhD in biology on the regulation of protein synthesis in the brine shrimp Artemia (Leiden University, 1996). From 1997 until 2009 she worked as a policy officer and program manager at the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) in The Hague. From 2009 until 2013 she was program manager of the national biobanking research infrastructure BBMRI-NL at Leiden University Medical Hospital (LUMC). She completed a Master in medieval history in 2010. Currently she is finishing a thesis on Margaret of Burgundy (1374-1441).

Key publications

M. Brandsma, ‘Riches and Power? Princely Widows in the Burgundian Period: The Case of Margaret of Burgundy (1374-1441)’, The Medieval Low Countries. An Annual Review 5 (2018), 93-122.

M. Brandsma, ‘De kracht van het moederschap. Margaretha van Bourgondië (1374-1441)’, in: Molenaar Y. (ed.) Gewapend met schoonheid. Vrouwen en macht sinds de Middeleeuwen, Stichting Rijksmuseum Muiderslot (2018) 14-16.

M. Brandsma, ‘Hoe vrouwe Ysabel hertoechinne van Bourgondien in Hollant quam. Isabella van Portugal regeert Holland (1444-1445)’, Millennium. Tijdschrift voor Middeleeuwse Studies 26 (2012), 22-43.



PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis


This website uses cookies.  More information.