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Women’s Matters

Informal Diplomacy and Women’s Networks at the Savoy-Carignano Court (Seventeenth Century)

Elisabetta Lurgo    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



This volume investigates the family affairs of the Savoy-Carignano dynasty, with a special focus on women: they are, in fact, prominent between the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, a crucial phase for the family and its territorial governance. The position of the Savoy-Carignano family was extremely delicate and forced them to deal both with Turin and Paris-Versailles, keeping a constant eye on the opportunities offered by the court of Vienna. The strategic balance between different courts, skilfully guided by Marie de Bourbon, Princess of Carignano, is at the heart of this book. Two case studies will be taken into account, in which female figures played a decisive role, mobilising networks of relations and refining negotiation strategies. On the one hand, the controversial wedding of Prince Louis-Thomas, count of Soissons; on the other, the marriage of Prince Emanuel Philibert. The diplomatic incidents triggered by these family affairs forced Mary of Bourbon, the true matriarch of the family, to counterbalance the effects, for the survival of the entire dynastic clan. The letters by the Savoy-Carignano princesses, in the most acute phases of the conflict, outline a sort of resilient epistolary, encouraging us to reflect on the weight of female figures for the consolidation of a patrimony of symbols and privileges, which represented an essential step for a dynasty claiming full territorial sovereignty.

April 13, 2023
Jan. 11, 2023
June 27, 2022
Number of pages
16x23 cm
Copyright: © 2023 Elisabetta Lurgo. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Table of contents

I Savoia-Carignano nel lungo Seicento
April 13, 2023
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Il matrimonio segreto del conte di Soissons
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Le nozze del principe di Carignano
April 13, 2023
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Fra onore famigliare e strategie patrimoniali: una rivalità al femminile
April 13, 2023
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