‘The King and I’: Rhetorics of power in the letters of Diane de Poitiers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

Abstract

This essay explores the gendered performance of power in the letters of Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566), particularly during the period when, as mistress of Henri II of France (1519-59), she wielded considerable political influence at court. It argues that her power was established and enacted through performances of authoritative behaviours and rhetoric that were inflected by contemporary understandings about gender and explores a number of distinct strategies embedded in Diane’s correspondence. These techniques reflected the corporeal and sexual nature of her access to consideration as a political interlocutor but also aimed to position her status as a figure of social and economic influence beyond this original means to power.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen and Power at the French Court, 1483-1563
EditorsSusan Broomhall
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Chapter12/ Part IV
Pages335-356
ISBN (Print)9789462983427
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Broomhall, S. (2018). ‘The King and I’: Rhetorics of power in the letters of Diane de Poitiers. In S. Broomhall (Ed.), Women and Power at the French Court, 1483-1563 (pp. 335-356). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv8pzd9w.15