There were many surprising accessions in the early modern period, including Mary I of England, Henry III of France, Anne Stuart, and others, but this is the first book dedicated solely to evaluating their lives and the repercussions of their reigns. By comparing a variety of such unexpected heirs, this engaging history offers a richer portrait of early modern monarchy. It shows that the need for heirs and the acquisition and preparation of heirs had a critical impact on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century culture and politics, from the appropriation of culture to the influence of language, to trade and political alliances. It also shows that securing a dynasty relied on more than just political agreements and giving birth to legitimate sons, examining how relationships between women could and did forge alliances and dynastic continuities.
Valerie Schutte earned her PhD in History from the University of Akron. She is author of Mary I and the Art of Book Dedications: Royal Women, Power, and Persuasion (2015) and co-editor of The Birth of a Queen: Essays on the Quincentenary of Mary I (2016). She has published several articles on the Tudors and book dedications.
I. Securing a Dynasty
2. A Bastard and a Changeling?: England's Edward of Westminster and Delayed Childbirth
3. Margaret Tudor, Countess of Richmond and Elizabeth York: Dynastic Competitors or Allies?
4. Perceptions of Princesses: Pre-accession Book Dedications to Mary and Elizabeth Tudor
5. Fit for a King?: The Gendered Emotional Performances of Catherine de Medici as Dauphine of France, 1536-1547
6. Never the Queen: Anne Stuart's Formative Years
II. Second Sons
7. Another Spare to the French Crown: Henry III of France's Self-Representation, Reputation and Royal Authority
8. Losing an Unexpected Throne: Deposing Second Sons of the Stuart Dynasty
9. Expected, then Passed Over: Second Sons in the French Monarchy of the Seventeenth Century
III. Unexpected Survival
10. A Queen in Constant Motion: Queen Christina of Sweden and the Unexpected Mobility of Sovereignty
11. The Unexpected Virgin: The Perpetual Succession Crisis of Elizabeth I