• Anna Riehl
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


In 1582, the Russian czar Ivan the Terrible appointed a secret mission to his ambassador in England, Fyodor Pisemsky, to secure Mary Hastings as the next consort for the czar.1 In addition to determining Mary’s exact relationship to the queen, Ivan’s instructions called for an inquiry into the potential bride’s physical appearance.2 Instead of exploring Mary’s precise social status and personal character, Pisemsky concentrated on a survey of her looks, a task not easily accomplished outside a formal arrangement for an inspection that had to be sanctioned by the queen.


Cultural Construct Virginal State Early Modern Period Rhetorical Tool Deep Wrinkle 
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© Anna Riehl 2010

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  • Anna Riehl

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