Alexander Samson
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Spanish Tudor/English Habsburg
in Mary and Philip
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Historians have struggled to understand the co-monarchy of Mary and Philip and how it functioned in practice, too often attributing commonplace misogyny to agents all too aware of the competing axes of gender and power. Assumptions about Mary’s lack of concrete engagement in ruling have left the impression of the co-monarchy as a vacuum, where in fact she was engaged and assiduous, imposing her will in the face of opposition at times from councillors or her co-ruler. Having analysed the political success of their rule, the argument turns to the cultural exchanges and influences of the union, including the first Spanish-English language-teaching manual, portraits and other forms of image-making that projected their co-monarchy on the international stage.

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Mary and Philip

The marriage of Tudor England and Habsburg Spain


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