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Kungen är en kvinna: retorik och praktik kring kvinnliga monarker under tidigmodern tid
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Historical Studies.
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The king is a woman : the female monarch in rhetoric and practice during the early modern era (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present dissertation is to investigate and discuss the political debate on female monarchs during the early modern era (principally circa 1600 to 1720), while specifically pro- blematizing the relationship between rhetoric and practice.

The study consists of three sections. The first comprises a study of regulations concerning female succession in the era, highlighting the relationship between the principles of gender and consanguinuity. The second section studies the debate both for and against female monarchs in general, analyzing the arguments presented by Swedish and English debatteurs and European legislators. The third section discusses the perception of female monarchs in practice. Here the focus is on Queens Christina (1632-54) and Ulrika Eleonora (1719-1720), who are both compa­red with each another and other reigning monarchs, primarily the English Queens Elizabeth I (1558-1603), Mary II (1689-94) and Anna Stuart (1702-14). This section is divided into four the­matic subsections: female monarchs in relation to ascension to the throne; education; war; and marriage. Furthermore, the opinions of Christina and Ulrika Eleonora themselves on female monarchs and female succession are discussed.

This study has attempted to show that the question of the gender of the monarch has had significance for both the rhetoric and practice of female monarchy. It has been shown that the arguments used against female rulers have mainly concentrated on the principle of gender by labelling "female/feminine" as the negative polar opposite of "male/masculine". In contrast, the arguments used in favour of female monarchs have attempted to tone down the signficance of the fact that the monarch was a woman. Instead, the matter of the monarch's gender was discu­ssed in relation to other, more overriding principles for the monarchy as an institution, inclu­ding birth, dynastic continuity, royal distinctiveness, education, the preservation of order and legitimate succession to the throne. At the same time, this study has shown that traditionally female characteristics could also have a positive effect. One particular problem, both in rhetoric and practice, seems however to have been how and indeed if a female monarch could coordinate her role as sovreign with that of traditionally subordinate wife.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2003. , 230 p.
Skrifter från institutionen för historiska studier, ISSN 1651-0046 ; 5
Keyword [en]
female rulers, early modern, authority, sovereignty, monarchy, political debate, gender, virtue, Queen Christina, Queen Ulrica Eleonora, kingship, queenship, female succession
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-60249ISBN: 91-7305-412-7 (print)OAI: diva2:558973
Available from: 2012-10-05 Created: 2012-10-05 Last updated: 2013-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Tegenborg Falkdalen, Karin
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