Servants of the Dynasty: Palace Women in World History / Edition 1

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Overview

By offering the first comparative view of the women who lived, worked, and served in royal courts around the globe-mothers, wives, concubines, entertainers, attendants, officials, maids, and drudges-Servants of the Dynasty opens a new perspective on the monarchies that have dominated much of human history. Written by leading historians, anthropologists, and archeologists, these lively essays take us from Classic Mayan states to the palace of the Japanese Shoguns, to the Chinese imperial courts, to eighteenth-century Versailles, to Mughal India, to twentieth-century Benin in Nigeria, and beyond. Together, they investigate women's roles in each era and locale, how those roles changed over time, and what women's histories say about the structures of power and societies in which they lived. This work furthers our understanding of how royal courts, created to project the authority of male rulers, maintained themselves through the reproductive and productive powers of women.

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Editorial Reviews

The China Beat Blog
“This expansive collection. . . affords the first comprehensive review of the women who served in royal courts and palaces around the world, and thereby offers a welcome correction to our androcentric understanding of monarchies.”
Choice - M. E. Wiesner
“Excellent.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520254442
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 6/10/2008
  • Series: California World History Library Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Walthall is Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. She is author of Japan: A Cultural, Social, and Political History and The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration, among other books.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Tables

Introducing Palace Women Anne Walthall Walthall, Anne 1

1 Women and the Performance of Power in Early Modern Southeast Asia Barbara Watson Andaya Andaya, Barbara Watson 22

2 Women in Classic Maya Royal Courts Takeshi Inomata Inomata, Takeshi 45

3 Women and Power at the Byzantine Court Kathryn M. Ringrose Ringrose, Kathryn M. 65

4 Beyond Harem Walls: Ottoman Royal Women and the Exercise of Power Leslie P. Peirce Peirce, Leslie P. 81

5 Mughal Palace Women Ruby Lal Lal, Ruby 96

6 Politics in an African Royal Harem: Women and Seclusion at the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria Flora Edouwaye S. Kaplan Kaplan, Flora Edouwaye S. 115

7 Qing Imperial Women: Empresses, Concubines, and Aisin Gioro Daughters Shuo Wang Shuo, Wang 137

8 The Royal Women of Ivan IV's Family and the Meaning of Forced Tonsure Isolde Thyret Thyret, Isolde 159

9 Servants of the Inner Quarters: The Women of the Shogun's Great Interior Hata Hisako Hisako, Hata 172

10 Women of Versailles, 1682-1789 Kathryn Norberg Norberg, Kathryn 191

11 Concubines and Cloth: Women and Weaving in Aztec Palaces and Colonial Mexico Susan Toby Evans Evans, Susan Toby 215

12 Women, Royalty, and Indigo Dyeing in Northern Nigeria, circa 1500-1807 Heidi J. Nast Nast, Heidi J. 232

13 Gender and Entertainment at the Song Court Beverly Bossler Bossler, Beverly 261

14 The Vanished Women of Korea: The Anonymity of Texts and the Historicity of Subjects JaHyun Kim Haboush Haboush, JaHyun Kim 280

15 The Perils of the Sentimental Family for Royalty in Postrevolutionary France: The Case of Queen Marie-Amelie Jo Burr Margadant Margadant, Jo Burr 299

Bibliography327

List of Contributors 359

Index 363

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