© 2016

Perceiving Power in Early Modern Europe

  • Francis K.H. So

About this book


This collection conceptualizes the question of rulership in past centuries, incorporating such diverse disciplines as archaeology, art history, history, literature and psychoanalysis to illustrate how kings and queens ruled in Europe from the antiquity to early modern times. It discusses forms of kingship such as client-kingship, monarchy, queen consort and regnant queenship that manifest gubernatorial power in concert with paternal succession and the divine right of the king. While the king assumes a religious dimension in his obligatory functions, justice and peace are vital elements to maintain his sovereignty. 

The active side of governmental power is to keep peace and order leading to prosperity for the subjects; the passive side of power is to protect the subjects from external attack and free them from fear. These concepts of power find concurrence in modern times as well as in non-European cultures. Through a truly cross-cultural, transnational, multidimensional, gender-conscious and interdisciplinary study, this collection offers a cutting edge account of how power has been exercised and demonstrated in various cultures of some bygone eras.


Governmental Power Divine Right of the King Justice and Peace Early Modern Europe King Arthur Royalty and Divinity

Editors and affiliations

  • Francis K.H. So
    • 1
  1. 1.Kaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan

About the editors

Francis So is chair professor of English at Kaohsiung Medical University. He has taught and served as administrator at National Sun Yat-sen University and Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages. He has published works on medieval and Renaissance English literature, Chinese-Western comparative literature and cultural contacts along the Silk Road.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Perceiving Power in Early Modern Europe
  • Editors Francis K.H. So
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-58624-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-93084-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-58381-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages IX, 237
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 2 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of Early Modern Europe
    Political History
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This collection stands out for its varied range of topics, multifaceted approaches,  diversified perspectives and a thoughtful dialogical introduction that widens the purview of the medieval West. It is immensely exciting and rewarding to see the fruits of an international collaboration with uniquely important and substantial contributions by East Asian scholars to one of the major themes in medieval and early modern studies.” (Yu-cheng Lee, Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica)

“Perceiving Power in Early Modern Europe is an eclectic collection of essays that together traces the evolution of absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy. The essays bring out an array of the axes and valences of power ... . Professor Francis K. H. So’s informative and sure-footed introduction not only places the discrete essays in a provocative dialogical context but also present analogous Chinese notions of kingship such as the Mandate of Heaven and Wang Dao—notions that parallel the divine rights of kings / the Magna Carta and noblesse oblige respectively.” (King-Kok Cheung, Professor of English, University of California, Los Angeles)