Talks

Early Modern Queens on Screen: Victors, Victims, Villains, Virgins and Viragoes
by Dr Elena (Ellie) Woodacre

Date: Thursday 19 March 2020

This talk highlights the range of typologies or stereotypes employed to depict the lives of early modern queens on film

Early Modern Queens on Screen: Victors, Victims, Villains, Virgins and Viragoes

This talk brings together a large corpus of films and television series which feature the queens of the early modern period, arguing that these productions effectively categorize these women into five typologies: Victors, Victims, Villains, Virgins and Viragoes. Examples are drawn from works across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries which demonstrate the five typologies, from the classic films of 1930s Hollywood, such as Katherine Hepburn’s starring role in Mary of Scotland to recent films such as highly praised The Favourite and the more controversial Mary Queen of Scots (both 2019). This talk will ultimately argue that these typologies or stereotypes reflect modern society and gender constructs rather than the realities of early modern queenship and the lives of these particular queens.

Dr. Elena (Ellie) Woodacre is a specialist in medieval and Early Modern queenship and a Senior Lecturer in Early Modern European History at the University of Winchester. Her publications include her monograph The Queens Regnant of Navarre; Succession, Politics and Partnership (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and she has edited/co-edited several collections including, Queenship in the Mediterranean (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), The Image and Perception of Monarchy in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Cambridge Scholars, 2014), Royal Mothers and their Ruling Children (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Virtuous or Villainess? The Image of the Royal Mother from the Early Medieval to the Early Modern Eras (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), A Companion to Global Queenship (ARC Medieval Press, 2018), Premodern Rulers and Postmodern Viewers (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) and is the lead editor of History of Monarchy (Routledge). She is currently developing a monograph on Joan of Navarre and a short work on the historiography of queenship studies. Elena is the organizer of the ‘Kings & Queens’ conference series and the founder of the international Royal Studies Network (www.royalstudiesnetwork.org), a resource which aims to bring together scholars who work on monarchical topics. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Royal Studies Journal (www.rsj.winchester.ac.uk ), an academic, peer-reviewed, multi-lingual and fully open-access publication which was launched in 2014. In addition, Elena is the co-editor of Routledge’s Queens of England series and she is the lead editor of ARC Humanities Press’ Gender and Power in the Premodern Era book series.

Back to the previous page