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Women of Distinction. Margaret of York & Margaret of Austria

D. Eichberger (ed.)
320 p., 250 x 310 mm, 2005
ISBN: 978-2-503-51917-3
Languages: English
HardbackHardback
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This lavishly illustrated handbook was conceived to accompany an international exhibition organised by the city of Mechelen (Malines) in 2005. Both the exhibition and the catalogue highlight an important aspect of Burgundian culture: the impact of noble women on life at the court and in the city around 1500.
Margaret of York (1446-1503), the English princess married to Duke Charles-the-Bold, and Margaret of Austria (1480-1530), the only daughter of Mary of Burgundy, both lived in Mechelen as well-to-do widows and are therefore the focal point of this publication. At the time, the city of Mechelen was the cosmopolitan and administrative centre of the Burgundian Netherlands. It forms the stage on which their lives as dowager duchess and as regent of the Netherlands unfold. Both women carried high responsibilities in matters of education, learning, devotion, government, diplomacy, patronage, public appearance and court etiquette. The book looks at the way in which court ladies were meant to behave within a given societal framework and also discusses how each individual interpreted her role by actively negotiating her position of authority.
The sixteen essays which introduce the five distinct catalogue sections were written by leading scholars from different disciplines such as Wim Blockmans, Krista De Jonge, Dagmar Eichberger, Marie-Madeleine Fontaine, Anne-Marie Legaré, Philippe Lorentz and Walter Prevenier. This book provides much more than a biographical account of two "women of distinction", but regards their lives as paradigmatic for upper-class women of that time. The study takes a fresh look at the transition from the late Middle Ages to the early modern period and offers the reader essential information as well as new insights into matters of gender and female concern.

Review

"Die üppig bebilderte und sorgfältig edierte Publikation zur Ausstellung ist als "catalogue-handbook" angelegt. (...) Dieser Anspruch, einen Ein- oder Überblick auch hintsichtlich der jeweiligen Forschungslage zu geben, macht den Band tatsächlich zu einer Art Handbuch." (S. Ruby in Sehepunkte, 7 (2007), Nr. 1 (15.01.2007))

"The organizers and authors, most of all, Dagmar Eichberger, are to be congratulated on an exhibition that illuminated the two Margarets from so many useful perspectives. (...) and that resulted in a catalogue as exemplary in its scholarship and production values as this one is". (D. Ewing in HNA Book reviews, oktober 2005)

"Overall the exhibition, the catalogue, and Pearson's book are an important contribution to rethinking Burgudian art from a gender perspective, providing much food for thought both in terms of objects and methodologies." (E. L'Estrange in Association of Art Historians, 2008, pp. 117-121)

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : local & regional history
Low Countries

This publication is also distributed by: Marston
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