Counsel as performative practice of power in Catherine de' Medici’s early regencies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores how Catherine de’ Medici (1519–89), queen consort
to Henri II of France (1519–59), negotiated political status during
her early regencies. Scholars have largely focused on Catherine’s activities
as a widow when she acted as a regent and counsellor to her sons, Charles
IX (1550–74) and Henri III (1551–89), and emphasized her development
of maternal rhetoric that situated this phase of her political intervention.1
However, Catherine’s first experiences of providing counsel and
establishing authority as a political interlocutor occurred during the reign
of her husband. As queen consort, Catherine was vested by Henri with
regency on several occasions while he undertook military campaigns. This
chapter studies these periods in which counsel—both as Catherine sought
and offered it—proved a highly dynamic performative practice that
enabled her to establish authority as a political agent.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQueenship and Counsel in Early Modern Europe
EditorsHelen Matheson-Pollock, Joanne Paul, Catherine Fletcher
Place of PublicationBasingstoke, UK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9783319769745
ISBN (Print)9783319769738
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameQueenship and Power
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


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