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  • 2019woodphd

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Pretty maids all in a row: the place of women in the line of Tudor and Early Jacobean succession, 1485-1615

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2019
Number of pages362
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This thesis considers the place of women in the line of Tudor and early Jacobean succession between 1485 and 1615. The ability of a woman to transmit a dynastic claim was first established in England in the twelfth century, and the mid-sixteenth century saw an accident of circumstances which resulted in an almost complete lack of legitimate male contenders in the
direct line to the throne. This thesis challenges historians’ traditional focus on the Tudor and Stuart queens and the underlying assumption that other women who possessed a dynastic claim were not actively involved in the politics of the succession. The place of women in the line of Tudor and early Jacobean succession is examined herein through the study of four different areas of this public debate. This thesis includes chapters on early modern understanding of
female succession to the English throne before the sixteenth century; the marriages and courtships pursued by women within the royal line between the late fifteenth and early seventeenth century; the use of portraiture as propaganda in the politics of the succession, and the manuscript and print debate on female rule and inheritance in Tudor England.