A House Divided: Wittelsbach Confessional Court Cultures in the Holy Roman Empire, c. 1550-1650

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This book is the only book-length monograph comparing the impact of confessional identity on both halves of the Wittelsbach dynasty which provided Bavarian dukes and German emperors as well as its implications for late Renaissance court culture. It demonstrates that religious conflict led to the development of distinctly confessional court cultures among the main Wittelsbach courts. Likewise, it illuminates how these confessional court cultures contributed significantly to the splintering of Renaissance humanism along religious lines in this era. Concomitantly, it sheds new light on the impact of late medieval dynastic competition on shaping the early modern Wittelsbach courts as well as the important role of Wittelsbach women in the creation and continuation of dynastic piety in their roles as wives, mothers, and patronesses of the arts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Andrew Thomas’s book deserves high merit for its comprehensive treatment, based on a broad range of sources, and for its mastery of several bodies of scholarly literature. The theme of the two Wittelsbach branches as dynastic and territorial rivals, and as representatives of the religious fragmentation of the German lands, is not a new discovery. Andrew Thomas gives it, however, an original and comprehensive treatment that is surely both new and valuable. His highly interesting, challenging book engages many of the principal themes of German history in what has come to be called the confessional age.”
Thomas A. Brady, Jr., University of California, Berkeley. In: Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 42, No. 1 (2012), pp. 181-182.

"Die Dissertation ist gut recherchiert. Ihre Ergebnisse werden im überlegten Aufbau und formal einwandfreier Form niedergelegt. Die Ausführungen sind durch einen hinreichenden, jedoch nicht überbordenden Anmerkungsapparat hilfreich untermauert. [...] Insgesamt ist eine Untersuchung gelungen, die Wissenschaftlichkeit, Lesbarkeit und Benutzbarkeit gekonnt miteinander verbindet. Das originell ansetzende, inhaltlich anregende und formal rundum gefällige Buch stellt einen anregenden und weiterführenden Beitrag der interdisziplinär arbeitenden Kulturgeschichte zur Reformationsforschung dar."
Alois Schmid, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. In: Francia-Recensio 2012.

“More than just a study of one dynasty, with its emphasis on political, cultural and religious history, A house divided reflects the dynamism of Europe in the early modern world.”
Amy K. Bosworth, Muskingum University, New Concord, Ohio. In: The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 63, No. 1 (January 2012), pp. 165-166.

"This is an exciting study, with an innovative and cross-disciplinary approach."
Jonathan Spangler, Manchester Metropolitan University. In: European Review of History, Vol. 18, No. 4 (October 2011), pp. 581-583.

"Eine wertvolle Studie sowohl zur Geschichte des Hauses Wittelsbach wie auch zur Geistes- und Kulturgeschichte Mitteleuropas in jener Sattelzeit des 16./17. Jahrhunderts."
Josef Johannes Schmid, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. In: sehepunkte 11 (2011), Nr. 3 [15.03.2011].

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Andrew L. Thomas, Ph. D. (2007) in History, Purdue University, is Assistant Professor of History at Salem College. He and Charles Ingrao have copublished two monographs dealing with the influence of Austrian Habsburg consorts in the High Baroque.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

1. Reflecting Dynastic Destinies: Mirror of Prince Literature and Wittelsbach Education
2. Patronage and Piety: The Confessionalization of Wittelsbach Courts in Heidelberg and Munich
3. Confessional Frontiers and Border Wars: The Confessionalization of Bavaria and the Palatinate
4. Wedding Bells and Cannon Fire: Wittelsbach Confessional Diplomacy
5. A Winter’s Tale: The “Winter King” and the Court at Prague
6. Image-Breaking: Iconoclasm and Identity Crisis
7. Clarion Calls: White Mountain and Wittelsbach Legitimacy
8. Metamorphosis: The Palatinate in Transition and the “Bohemian” Court in Exile at The Hague

Apendix A: Wittelsbach Genealogy (1300-1550
Apendix B: Palatine Wittelsbachs Genealogy (1550-1650
Apendix C: Bavarian Wittelsbachs Genealogy (1550-1650)

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