Book Series Burgundica, vol. 17

Women at the Burgundian Court: Presence and Influence

Femmes à la Cour de Bourgogne: Présence et Influence

Dagmar Eichberger, Anne-Marie Legaré, Wim Hüsken (eds)

  • Pages: xxi + 182 p.
  • Size:178 x 254 mm
  • Illustrations:39 b/w, 26 col.
  • Language(s):English, French
  • Publication Year:2011

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-52288-3
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-53713-9
  • E-book
  • Available


"This volume makes an important contribution to our growing understanding of the Burgundian world. [...] The richness of the material [...] should readily engage readers and suggest interesting avenues for further exploration."    (Anne Simonson, in Renaissance Quarterly 64/3, Fall 2011, p. 919)

"The essays are all well documented and clearly expressed, making this volume an important resource for scholars interested in courtly culture, women's history, or culture in general of the Early Modern period." (A. Roberts, in: Historians of Netherlandish Art,, 2012)

"(...) this is a well-conceived collection that offers scholars new insights into women's role in Burgundy in the fifeenth and early sixteenth centuries. Its fruitful exploration of a wide variety of disciplinary avenues expands the research possibilities in this arena and will doubtless inspire future investigations." (Cynthia J. Brown, in: Bulletin du bibliophile, N° 2, 2013, p. 380)

"Cet ouvrage, par ses contributions diverses, touchant plusieurs domaines de l'histoire et de l'histoire de l'art est une addition intéressante aux publications sur la cour et les princesses à la cour, aux XVe et XVIe siècles." (Jacques Paviot, dans: Francia-Recensio, 2013/4)


This collection of essays charts the role of women at the Burgundian court by analysing the ways in which medieval women, such as Isabella of Portugal, Margaret of York, Mary of Burgundy, Margaret of Austria made an impact through their physical, moral and spiritual presence at court. During the absence of the prince these well-educated and internationally experienced spouses, mothers and aunts were put in charge of the courtly household or were in some cases appointed regent of the Netherlandish territories for a limited period of time. The youngest generation of women represented by the sisters and consorts of Charles V and Ferdinand I - now forming part of the extended family network – continued this tradition and took it to Germany, Spain, France and Portugal. The court developed into a kind of 'gender laboratory', in which women actively negotiated their position of power, thus consolidating their influence in politics, diplomacy, education and art.

Dagmar Eichberger is professor of art history at the University of Heidelberg, she teaches Netherlandish and German art and culture from 1400 to 1800.

Anne-Marie Legaré is professor of medieval art history at the University of Lille 3 – Charles de Gaulle. She teaches Women’s Studies and History of Manuscript Illumination. 

Wim Hüsken is curator at the Stedelijke Musea in Mechelen. He has written extensively on Dutch literature and theatre of the sixteenth century.