Virtuous or Villainess? The Image of the Royal Mother from the Early Medieval to the Early Modern Era

  • Carey Fleiner
  • Elena Woodacre

Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Carey Fleiner
    Pages 1-8
  3. Fashioning the Image of the “Good” and “Bad” Royal Mother

  4. The Legacy and Reputation of Royal Mothers-from Their Contemporaries to the Present Day

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 247-256

About this book


This collection addresses royal motherhood across Europe, from both the medieval and Early Modern periods, including (in)famous and not-so-famous royal mothers. The essays in this collection reveal the complexities and the subtleties inherent in the role of royal mothers and challenges these traditional stereotypes. The volume provides a fresh re-evaluation of these women, from those who have been given an almost saintly status to those who struggled against contemporary chronicles and propaganda that perpetuated the stereotypes associated with ‘bad mothers’– these particular images of saintliness and wickedness have persisted right into the modern era. This series of intriguing case studies reveals how royal mothers were perceived by their contemporaries and explores the motivation for the ways in which they are depicted in modern popular culture.  Taken together with the companion volume, Royal Mothers and their Ruling Children, this collection sheds new light on the important and challenging role of mothers within the framework of monarchy and at the epicenter of power.


queenship motherhood regent regency maternity queen mother

Editors and affiliations

  • Carey Fleiner
    • 1
  • Elena Woodacre
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Winchester WinchesterUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.University of WinchesterWinchesterUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-51314-4
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-51315-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site