New Book: Tudor and Stuart Consorts: Power, Influence, and Dynasty

Tudor and Stuart Consorts: Power, Influence, and Dynasty edited by Aidan Norrie, Carolyn Harris, J.L. Laynesmith, Danna R. Messer and Elena Woodacre is now available from Palgrave Macmillan.

This book examines the lives and tenures of all the consorts of the Tudor and Stuart monarchs of England between 1485 and 1714, as well as the wives of the two Lords Protector during the Commonwealth. The figures in Tudor and Stuart Consorts are both incredibly familiar—especially the six wives of Henry VIII—and exceedingly unfamiliar, such as George of Denmark, the husband of Queen Anne. These innovative and authoritative biographies recognise the important role consorts played in a period before constitutional monarchy: in addition to correcting popular assumptions that are based on limited historical evidence, the chapters provide a fuller picture of the role of consort that goes beyond discussions of exceptionalism and subversion. This volume and its companions reveal the changing nature of English consortship from the Norman Conquest to today.

Click here to purchase Tudor and Stuart Consorts: Power, Influence, and Dynasty

Women and Home Magazine Interview: How the Duchess of Cambridge’s interests are preparing her for life as Queen

I discussed the Duchess of Cambridge’s hobbies and interests including music, art, tennis and photography with Laura Harman at Women and Home magazine.

Click here to read “How the Duchess of Cambridge’s interests are preparing her for life as Queen” in Women and Home magazine.

Winter 2022 Online Course: Behind the Crown: The Monarchy from Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II

My new eight week online course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies starts Wednesday January 12, 2022. Click here for more information and to register.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

The year 2022 marks Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne. It’s an opportunity to look back on the social, political and cultural changes during her long reign.  The personal lives of royalty are a popular subject for fiction in novels, films and TV series but the real history is more interesting. Each generation of royalty must respond to the challenges of their times to keep the monarchy relevant and engaged with public opinion. Join Carolyn Harris, historian, commentator and author of Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting for a lively discussion of the history, politics and cultural significance of the monarchy in the UK and Canada.

Click here for more information and to register.  

New Podcast Interview: “Marie Antoinette” on History Gems

In the latest episode of the History Gems podcast, I discussed Queen Marie Antoinette and the Affair of the Diamond Necklace with Dr. Nicola Tallis. Themes in the podcast episode including Marie Antoinette’s reputation, fashions and the impact of the Diamond Necklace scandal on perceptions of the monarchy prior to the French Revolution.

Click here to listen to the “Marie Antoinette” episode of History Gems

For more about Marie Antoinette, read my book, Queenship and Revolution in Early Modern Europe: Henrietta Maria and Marie Antoinette (Queenship and Power series)

New Issue of The Royal Studies Journal: Volume 8, Issue 1: Performing Royal Power in Premodern Europe

In 2021, I became the proofreading editor of The Royal Studies Journal, an online and open access academic journal, published with the support of the University of Winchester. The most recent issue of the journal was published this month and is available to read online.

Click here to read Volume 8, Issue 1: Performing Royal Power in Premodern Europe

Spring 2020 Course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies: Peter the Great and the Building of Saint Petersburg

I will be teaching an eight week Tuesday evening course in March-April 2020 about Peter the Great and the Building of Saint Petersburg at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. Click here for more information and to register.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

When Peter became czar in 1682, Europe was foreign to Russia, an insular and tradition-bound nation.  The West fascinated Peter, and he was determined to transform Russia into a great European power. Discover the traditional Russia of Peter’s childhood, his Grand Tour of Europe and his subsequent dream of building St. Petersburg, a new city to match his vision of the country. With images of the city and accounts of his cruel drive to create it, we’ll see how the city emerged as a symbol of his power and of Russia’s hopes. 

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • Explore the rise of Russia as a world power in the 18th century.
  • Understand the impact of Peter the Great on Russia’s past and present.
  • Follow the founding of St. Petersburg as the capital of Imperial Russia.
  • Examine the role of St. Petersburg in Russia’s relationship with the West.
  • Appreciate its influence on Russian culture and society.

Click here for more information and to register

New BBC History Magazine Article: Was Queen Mary, wife of George V, a kleptomaniac?

My latest article in the BBC History Magazine examines the reputation of Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, and grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II. In the new Downton Abbey film, one storyline references a long-standing question: was Mary partial to stealing from the grand houses that she visited? Writing for History Extra, I explore the life of George V’s queen, and her habits as a collector of precious objects.

Click here to read “Was Queen Mary, wife of George V, a kleptomaniac?” in the BBC History Magazine.

New Canadian Encyclopedia Article: Princess Louise Margaret, Duchess of Connaught

My new article in the Historica Canada Canadiana Encyclopedia is about Princess Louise Margaret Alexandra Victoria Agnes of Prussia, Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn, vice-regal consort of Canada (1911–1916) and philanthropist. The Duchess of Connaught sponsored Red Cross hospitals for the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. The Duchess also sponsored art exhibitions in Canada and supported the work of Canadian artists.

Click here to read “Princess Louise Margaret, Duchess of Connaught” in the Canadian Encyclopedia

I have also written articles for the Canadian Encyclopedia about Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, Governor General of Canada from 1911 to 1916 as well as the Duke and Duchess of Connaught’s younger daughter, Princess Patricia of Connaught.

Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution: My Spring 2019 course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies

 I will be teaching an eight week course about Queen Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies on Tuesdays in March-April 2019. Click here for more information and to register.

More than 200 years after her execution, Queen Marie Antoinette is still one of the most famous and controversial figures in European history. In late 18th-century France, her reputation influenced debates about the role of women in politics, their families and the arts. Austrian-born, her position at the top of French society fuelled criticism of the monarchy and contributed to the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789. Her influence on popular culture continues today.

  • Discover the real Queen Marie Antoinette behind centuries of myths in popular culture.
  • Trace the reasons for her controversial reputation.
  • Explore the clashes in the politics, culture and society of royal and revolutionary France.
  • Look behind the legend and examine the controversial queen’s impact on politics, culture and society.

Click here for more information and to register.

Click here to purchase my book Queenship and Revolution in Early Modern Europe: Henrietta Maria and Marie Antoinette