New Book Chapter: The Reputation of Dowager Queen Henrietta Maria and the Legitimacy of the Restoration Monarchy” in Later Stuart Queens edited by Eilish Gregory and Michael C. Questier

My new book chapter “The Reputation of Dowager Queen Henrietta Maria and the Legitimacy of the Restoration Monarchy” has been published in Later Stuart Queens, 1660-1735: Religion, Political Culture and Patronage edited by Eilish Gregory and Michael C. Questier. Later Stuart Queens, 1660-1735 is part of the Queenship and Power series at Palgrave Macmillan.

Click here to purchase Later Stuart Queens, 1660-1735: Religion, Political Culture and Patronage edited by Eilish Gregory and Michael C. Questier from Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract

The restoration of the English monarchy in 1660 resulted in the return of the exiled King Charles II and the re-establishment of an extended royal family. Charles II had numerous family members whose place in the new political order was uncertain including his mother, Henrietta Maria, the queen dowager. Although Charles II enjoyed broad popular support at the time of his Restoration, some of the factions that emerged during the English Civil Wars and Interregnum were motivated to use Henrietta Maria’s reputation as a weapon to undermine her son’s political legitimacy. During the 1660s, Charles faced two modes of political attack based on his mother’s reputation, which coincided with Henrietta Maria’s two periods of residency in England. From 1660 to 1661, various English men and women outside court circles who opposed monarchical government challenged the very premise of “Restoration” by accusing Henrietta Maria of being unchaste. From 1662 to 1665, when Henrietta Maria presided over a splendid and well attended court at Somerset House, rumours spread in elite and diplomatic circles that she had recently married her private secretary, Henry Jermyn, first earl of St Albans. These rumours were an attempt to undermine both the perceived influence of both Henrietta Maria and the earl of St Albans over Charles, and to diminish the attraction of the queen dowager’s splendid court, which appeared to promote French and Roman Catholic interests. Although Charles II would make numerous conciliatory gestures towards his political opponents, his support for the status and privileges of all members of the royal family would remain steadfast throughout his reign. Charles’s later determination to preserve James’s place in the line of succession during the Exclusion Crisis demonstrated the same concern for hereditary legitimacy as his previous efforts to grant Henrietta Maria full honours as queen dowager.

Click here to purchase Later Stuart Queens, 1660-1735: Religion, Political Culture and Patronage edited by Eilish Gregory and Michael C. Questier from Palgrave Macmillan

October-November 2023 University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Online Course: Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution

I will be teaching an online course about Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies on Wednesday evenings in October-November 2023. Click here for more information and to register!

ABOUT THIS COURSE

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.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • 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.

Carolyn Harris Royal Historian Summer 2023 Newsletter

Click here to read the Carolyn Harris Royal Historian Summer 2023 newsletter – including the latest volume in the English Consorts: Power, Influence, Dynasty series, a TED-Ed video that I developed about Marie Antoinette’s reputation as well as interviews and lectures about the coronation of King Charles III.

Click here to read the Summer 2023 Carolyn Harris Royal Historian Newsletter

Palgrave Macmillan Annual Book Sale – All Hardcovers for $24.99 until April 19.

My 2015 Royal Studies Award winning book, Queenship and Revolution in Early Modern Europe: Henrietta Maria and Marie Antoinette and co-edited volumes, Later Plantagenet and the Wars of the Roses Consorts: Power, Influence, and Dynasty; Tudor and Stuart Consorts: Power, Influence, and Dynasty; and Hanoverian to Windsor Consorts: Power, Influence, and Dynasty are all available from Palgrave Macmillan for $24.99. The sale continues until April 19.

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

Click here to purchase Later Plantagenet and the Wars of the Roses Consorts: Power, Influence, and Dynasty

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

Click here to purchase Hanoverian to Windsor Consorts: Power, Influence, and Dynasty

New Podcast Interview: Queen’s University Department of History Alumni Archives

I discussed my career as a historian, author and royal commentator as well as a variety of historical topics such as Magna Carta, Queen Henrietta Maria and the English Civil Wars, and the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011.

Click here to listen to Episode 22: Carolyn Harris of the Alumni Archives Podcast

Fall 2022 Course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies: Women in Power

My course about the history of Women in Power from the Classical World to the 21st Century will be offered in class at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies on Tuesday afternoons in Fall 2022 from October 11 to November 29.

Click here for more information and to register

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Powerful women have presented themselves as warrior queens, rulers by divine right, wives and mothers and, most recently, as elected officials. We’ll examine the most significant female political figures in history, including Boadicea, Queen Isabella, Queen Elizabeth I, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton. Through lively lectures and discussions, you’ll learn the story of women in political life. Why are women still underrepresented in political life? Join Carolyn Harris for a fascinating look at the often-neglected place of women in power from Cleopatra to Angela Merkel.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • Survey changing attitudes toward women and political power throughout history.
  • Explore how female leaders have presented themselves to the public.
  • Understand how powerful women are portrayed in popular culture and the media.
  • Compare the experiences of female leaders around the world.
  • See how the history of women in power influences female political leadership today.

Click here for more information and to register

Fall 2022 Online Course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies: Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution

My popular online course about Queen Marie Antoinette of France and the French Revolution will be offered on Wednesday evenings in Fall 2022 from October 12 to November 30.

Click here for more information and to register.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

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.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • 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.

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