A Lifetime of Power: Beyond Binaries of Gender

  • Theresa Earenfight
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


This chapter examines the power, agency, and influence of queens not as static or singular, but variable and not linked directly to gender norms. To better understand acts of power within the context of the royal family, court, and household, it utilizes a framework that challenges a commonly perceived binary of masculine power (independent, active, and coercive) and feminine influence (ancillary, passive, and persuasive). A close study of Catherine of Aragon’s (1485–1536) life reveals that she exercised power in different ways over the course of her lifetime: latent, dynastic, governmental, diplomatic, charismatic, and religious. Looking at the shifts in power across a queen’s life illustrates that while monarchy privileged male rule, it also had ample room for women to operate as vital components.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theresa Earenfight
    • 1
  1. 1.Seattle UniversitySeattleUSA

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