Queen, Mother, and Stateswoman: Mariana of Austria and the Government of Spain (Hardcover)

Queen, Mother, and Stateswoman: Mariana of Austria and the Government of Spain By Silvia Z. Mitchell Cover Image
Ask a Bookseller about this title


When Philip IV of Spain died in 1665, his heir, Carlos II, was three years old. In addition to this looming dynastic crisis, decades of enormous military commitments had left Spain a virtually bankrupt state with vulnerable frontiers and a depleted army. In Silvia Z. Mitchell's revisionist account, Queen, Mother, and Stateswoman, Queen Regent Mariana of Austria emerges as a towering figure at court and on the international stage, while her key collaborators--the secretaries, ministers, and diplomats who have previously been ignored or undervalued--take their rightful place in history.

Mitchell provides a nuanced account of Mariana of Austria's ten-year regency (1665-75) of the global Spanish Empire and examines her subsequent role as queen mother. Drawing from previously unmined primary sources, including Council of State deliberations, diplomatic correspondence, Mariana's and Carlos's letters, royal household papers, manuscripts, and legal documents, Mitchell describes how, over the course of her regency, Mariana led the monarchy out of danger and helped redefine the military and diplomatic blocs of Europe in Spain's favor. She follows Mariana's exile from court and recounts how the dowager queen used her extensive connections and diplomatic experience to move the negotiations for her son's marriage forward, effectively exploiting the process to regain her position.

A new narrative of the Spanish Habsburg monarchy in the later seventeenth century, this volume advances our knowledge of women's legitimate political entitlement in the early modern period. It will be welcomed by scholars and students of queenship, women's studies, and early modern Spain.

About the Author

Silvia Z. Mitchell is Associate Professor of Early Modern European History at Purdue University.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780271083391
ISBN-10: 0271083395
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication Date: May 9th, 2019
Pages: 312
Language: English