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.