Hanoverian to Windsor Consorts: Power, Influence and Dynasty, edited by Aidan Norrie, J.L. Laynesmith, Danna R. Messer, Elena Woodacre and myself is now available in hardcover and e-book from Palgrave Macmillan. The book includes new research and perspectives on all the consorts to the Hanoverian, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Windsor monarchs in Britain and the Commonwealth, examining three hundred years of royal history. I wrote the introduction to the volume and introductions to the sections on Hanoverian and Windsor Consorts as well as the final chapter about Camilla, Catherine and the future of the role of the royal consort.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.