© 2017

Colonization, Piracy, and Trade in Early Modern Europe

The Roles of Powerful Women and Queens

  • Estelle Paranque
  • Nate Probasco
  • Claire Jowitt


  • Fills a gap in scholarship on early modern female rulers and their roles in foreign affairs

  • Focuses on several under-studied women, including Caterina Cornaro of Cyprus and Isabel Clara Eugenia of Austria

  • Contributes to a more complex, transnational understanding of national literatures and cultures


Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Demonstration of Power

  3. Diplomatic Strategies

  4. Exotic Encounters

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 251-255

About this book


This collection brings together essays examining the international influence of queens, other female rulers, and their representatives from 1450 through 1700, an era of expanding colonial activity and sea trade. As Europe rose in prominence geopolitically, a number of important women—such as Queen Elizabeth I of England, Catherine de Medici, Caterina Cornaro of Cyprus, and Isabel Clara Eugenia of Austria—exerted influence over foreign affairs. Traditionally male-dominated spheres such as trade, colonization, warfare, and espionage were, sometimes for the first time, under the control of powerful women. This interdisciplinary volume examines how they navigated these activities, and how they are represented in literature. By highlighting the links between female power and foreign affairs, Colonization, Piracy, and Trade in Early Modern Europe contributes to a fuller understanding of early modern queenship.


Colonization Piracy Trade Queen Elizabeth I Catherine de Medici Gender Studies Female Rulers Queens Women in History Women in Foreign Affairs monarchy studies Thomas Middleton the Armada the Huguenots Mary I of England Caterina Cornaro Isabella Clara Eugenia early modern diplomacy Mary of Guise Anglo-Scottish diplomacy

Editors and affiliations

  • Estelle Paranque
    • 1
  • Nate Probasco
    • 2
  • Claire Jowitt
    • 3
  1. 1.New College of the HumanitiesLondonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Briar Cliff UniversitySioux CityUSA
  3. 3.University of East AngliaNorwichUnited Kingdom

About the editors

Estelle Paranque is Lecturer in Early Modern History at New College of the Humanities, London, UK.

Nate Probasco is Assistant Professor of History at Briar Cliff University, USA.

Claire Jowitt is Professor of English and History and Associate Dean for Research for Arts and Humanities at the University of East Anglia, UK .

Bibliographic information


“This volume demonstrates how fruitful interdisciplinary work can be in the fields of political, cultural, diplomatic, and global history. … In that respect, the editors have reached their aim to stress ‘that women … played crucial authoritative roles and were, at times, in charge of the decision-making processes that shaped what was to be ‘discovered’ and, just as importantly, who was to participate and benefit’ … .” (Indravati Félicité, Early Modern Woman, EMWJ, Vol. 15 (2), 2021)

“A fascinating collection of scholarly articles about the role of Queens and other powerful women in trade, finance and foreign affairs during the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. … The book is a valuable contribution to the study of queenship, revealing the full range of activities undertaken by early modern royal women.” (, February, 2018)

“This edited volume offers a number of case studies exemplifying how not only queen consorts and regents across Europe, but also women from more humble backgrounds, entered these spheres and showed themselves competent rulers, diplomats, and patrons of overseas exploration. … This edited collection is likely to appeal to scholars of royal studies and early modern diplomacy, and students of (political) history and gender studies.” (Nadia T. van Pelt, Journal of the Northern Renaissance,, November, 2017)