The Body of the Queen: Gender and Rule in the Courtly World, 1500-2000
How many "bodies" does a queen have? What is the significance of multiple "bodies"? How has the gendered body been constructed and perceived within the context of the European courts during the course of the past five centuries? These are some of the questions addressed in this anthology, a contribution to the ongoing debate provoked by Ernst H. Kantorowicz in his seminal work from 1957, The King's Two Bodies . On the basis of both textual self-presentations and visual representations a gradual transformation of the queen appears: A sacred/providential figure in medieval and early modern period, an ideal bourgeois wife during the late-18th and 19th Centuries, and a star-like (re-) presentation of royalty during the past century. Twentieth-century mass media has produced the celebrity and film star queens personified by the contested and enigmatic Nefertiti of ancient Egypt, the mysterious Elizabeth (Sisi) of Austria, Grace Kelly as Queen of both Hollywood and Monaco and Romy Schneider as the invented Empress.
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