Mary and Philip

The marriage of Tudor England and Habsburg Spain

The co-monarchy of Mary I and Philip II put England at the heart of early modern Europe. This positive reassessment of their joint reign counters a series of parochial, misogynist and anti-Catholic assumptions, correcting the many myths that have grown up around the marriage and explaining the reasons for its persistent marginalisation in the historiography of Tudor England. Using new archival discoveries and original sources it argues for Mary as a great Catholic queen, while fleshing out Philip’s important contributions as king of England. It demonstrates the success and many positive achievements of this glittering dynastic union in everything from culture, music and art to cartography, commerce and exploration. Philip and Mary’s negative reputation derives from a particular version of English identity and reflects confessional differences in early modern English history. The acceptability of Mary’s foreign marriage will continue to reflect the evolving relationship between Britain and Europe, and its cultural politics. Moving from the commercial and strategic interests served by Anglo-Spanish alliances, it analyses the negotiations and marriage contract, Mary’s government, the Act for the Queen’s Regal Power, the Wyatt rebellion, the co-monarchy, gynophobic polemic, court culture and ceremony, bilingual lexicography, portraiture and print, and the historical (mis)fortunes of this glittering dynastic match.

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