Queen’s Apprentice

Archduchess Elizabeth, Empress María, the Habsburgs, and the Holy Roman Empire, 1554-1569


This book recounts the first fifteen years, early education and marriage negotiations of the Habsburg Archduchess, Elizabeth, who grew up in the Royal and Imperial Courts of Vienna and Wiener Neustadt in the latter half of the sixteenth century. It portrays life at the court of Elizabeth's mother, the Empress Maria, and describes tournaments, coronations, plays, medals, chivalric literature, music, art, sewing, and saints' lives, as well as urban contexts. Ideas of political space and travel are discussed against the settings of Prague, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Bratislava, Munich and Augsburg. Elizabeth’s story reveals specific structures of the Habsburg Courts, featuring Spanish, Austrian, Hungarian, Low Country, Italian, and Bohemian courtiers, and sets her personal story against the background of larger international events, such as the Peace of Augsburg in 1555 and the Ottoman Wars.
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EUR €115.00USD $155.00

Biographical Note

Joseph F. Patrouch, PhD. (1991) in History, University of California, Berkeley, is Associate Professor of History at Florida International University. His publications include A Negotiated Settlement: The Counter-Reformation in Upper Austria under the Habsburgs (Brill, 2000).

Review Quotes

"An illuminating read for those interested in Habsburg dynastic history of the mid-sixteenth century". – Liesbeth Geevers, Utrecht University, in: Renaissance Quarterly 64/1 (Spring 2011), pp. 302-303
‘’Above all else, this is a richly detailed book. Patrouch has used an impressive range of both primary and secondary sources, including not only court regulations and personal correspondence, but such diverse materials as coinage, published accounts of tournaments and ceremonies, music and plays, and detailed analyses of the material culture of the Habsburg court through buildings, clothing, jewelry, and other objects. The short biographical sketches he provides of even minor court figures add flavor without miring the reader in detail. His painstaking investigation of the structure of life within the female court gives readers a glimpse of an aspect of early modern life that has rarely been examined. For any scholar interested in court culture or in tracing the oft-complicated personal relations among the upper levels of sixteenth-century European society, the insightful work that Patrouch does here will be invaluable.’’ – Jen Welsh, College of Charleston, in: Early Modern Women Journal 6 (2011), p. 319
"Neben neuen Aspekten über das Hofleben in Wien und Wiener Neustadt und Beiträgen zur Geschichte der österreichischen Residenzstädte liefert die lesenswerte Studie von Joseph F. Patrouch eine detaillierte Analyse der Beziehungen der österreichischen Höfe zu anderen europäischen Höfen in den 1550er und 1560er Jahren." – Jochen A. Fühner, Vienna, in: Francia-Recensio 2011-1

Table of contents

Introduction: A Queen in Training and an Empress in Charge

1. Playing Queen: In the Women’s Court at Vienna and Wiener Neustadt, 1554-1560

2. Marriage Negotiations and the Tumultuous 1560’s

3. Empress and Imperial Daughter

4. Wars and Weddings on the Horizon

Conclusions: Growing Up. A Queen before the Fact



Those interested in the history of court society, queens and empresses, the Habsburg Dynasty, children and education, relations with the Otttoman Empire, France, Austria, Bohemia, Hungary, Italy, the Low Countries, Spain, and the workings of the Holy Roman Empire.

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