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Aspiration, Representation and Memory: The Guise in Europe

Congratulations to former colleagues Penny Richards and Jonathan Spangler, and to Jessica Munns, on the publication of their new bookAspiration, Representation and Memory: The Guise in Europe, 1506-1688.


The Guise, cadets of a minor sovereign house, arose from a provincial power base to establish themselves as dominant political players in France and across Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. They spent most of their time and held much of their land in France, but their interests were always ‘trans-national’ and they aspired to thrones from Jerusalem to Hungary and to Naples. They very nearly gained the throne of France; indeed, briefly, a member of the family, Mary Stuart, was Queen of France and of Scotland.

The essays in this collection approach the Guise’s aims, ambitions and representations from this ‘trans-national’ dimension and are drawn from an international group of historians, literary scholars and art historians.  Essays consider Guise claims to special consideration by men—by God—their eating habits, dramas about them, their place in history and ‘heritage’ history, and their portraiture, with special in-depth studies of Marie de Medici and Anne of Austria by Jonathan Spangler, Henry of Lorraine, fifth Duke of Guise, and his mid-seventeenth-century attempts to rule in Naples, and the long term reputation of the Guise by Penny Richards.

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