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The University of Southampton
Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture

Leveraging (Long-Term) Loyalty: Joan of Navarre’s Networks of Service Seminar

Joan of Navarre
24 October 2016
Room 65/1143 Avenue Campus. All welcome, refreshments provided.

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Anthony Ossa-Richardson at .

Event details

Over the course of her long life, Joan of Navarre transitioned through several roles: Infanta of Navarre, Duchess of Brittany, Queen consort and later dowager of England. Throughout she was served by a wide ranging network of service, including not only her immediate household but a cohort of clerks, tenants and keepers who helped to administer her considerable dower lands in both Brittany and England. Beyond this she also had a network of patronage and pensioners, who were either current or former servants or who could be seen as part of the queen’s wider ‘affinity’. This paper will examine this multi-layered network of service to the queen and will explore several case studies of those who served the queen in key roles over long periods—indeed some followed the queen as she transitioned between physical locations and political positions and remained loyal to her even when Joan was charged with witchcraft and under house arrest for several years. This paper will consider the impact these networks of service had on enabling Joan to navigate these challenging transitions in her life and ensure her stability and survival in an often treacherous political climate.

Speaker information

Dr Elena Woodacre , University of Winchester (History). Ellie began her undergraduate studies in her native USA and completed her BA in Humanities with Classical Studies with the OU after she moved to the UK. She received an MA in Medieval Studies (with Merit) from the University of Reading in 2006 and shortly thereafter began her doctoral studies at Bath Spa University. Her PhD thesis was titled The Queens of Navarre 1274-1512: Succession, Politics and Partnership and focussed on issues surrounding female rule, matrimonial politics and the relationship between reigning queens and consort kings. Her post-doctoral research investigates the female kinship network between four queens who were all first cousins at the turn of the 16th century. She joined the History Department at Winchester in autumn 2012 and is currently the Faculty Coordinator for Postgraduate Research Degrees. Elena is the organiser of the ‘Kings & Queens’ conference series and the founder of the Royal Studies Network, a resource that aims to bring together scholars who work on monarchical topics to enable them to collaborate and share information on their research. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Royal Studies Journal, an academic open-access publication launched in 2014. She is currently the Convenor of the Centre for Gender Studies. Her teaching interests include issues related to gender and power, the Renaissance and the political and cultural history of Early Modern Europe, particularly France, Spain and Italy.

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