Margaret of Parma: A Life


Margaret of Parma: A Life presents a woman who had a vital part in the political dramas of Reformation Europe. A natural child of Charles V, she was educated in the courts of Brussels, Florence, Rome, and Parma, and then was thrust into religious and political tumult in the Netherlands, where she showed ability and character.
At eight she was moved to Italy to be educated and then married to Alessandro de’Medici. Alessandro’s murder enabled Charles to marry her to Ottavio Farnese, the grandson of Pope Pius III. The union gave her years of experience in Rome. Her father’s abdication took Margaret back to the Netherlands as regent for Philip II. His authoritarian rule and the Calvinist uprising rendered the position horrifying. When rebuked and replaced by the Duke of Alba, Margaret returned to Italy as ruler of Abruzzo.
The character of Margaret assured her importance as she dealt with essential issues of life and rule. This biography reveals a woman dedicated to compromise and conciliation in public affairs.

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Charlie R. Steen, Ph.D. (1970), University of California, Los Angeles, is an Associate Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of New Mexico. He has published a monograph on the history of Tournai in the time of Margaret of Parma and has translated the memoirs of Pasquier de Le Barre, a magistrate of Tournai.
‘’Una lectura muy recomendable para conocer a un personaje clave de la historia de Flandes.’’
Eduardo de Mesa Gallego, Nevada State College. In: Desperta Ferro.
Major figures
Chapter I. The Emperor’s Daughter: A Political Offering
1. A Child of the Netherlands
2. Medici Marriage
3. Farnese Marriage
4. Duchess of Parma

Chapter II. Return to the Netherlands
1. Meeting Philip II
2. Choosing Margaret as Regent
3. A New Court

Chapter III. Lost Illusions
1. New Court, New Hopes, New Obstacles
2. The Calvinist Challenge and the Conflict over Granvelle

Chapter IV. Mingling Delights with Disaster
1. “Strange, variable, and dangerous times”
2. Extravagance in the Midst of Want
3. The Segovia Woods Letter

Chapter V. The Confederate Spring
1. Challenging Margaret
2. Fatal Mission to Madrid
3. The Effects of the Accord
4. The Grip of Calvinism

Chapter VI. The Calvinist Insurrection
1. “A Fury of Evil”
2. Revising the Accord
3. Calculated Concessions

Chapter VII. Disordered and Hateful Times
1. A Dexterous and Devious Response
2. Margaret’s Plan for Restoration
3. Counter-Attack

Chapter VIII. Uneasy Victory
1. Capturing Tournai
2. Rejection

Chapter IX. Poisoned Peace
1. Restoring Rule
2. Royal Intransigence

Chapter X. Disgrace, Torment, and Shame
1. Resistance to Alva
2. Futile Pleas to Philip II
Chapter XI. Madama Margarita
1. Talent and Energy Unbound
2. Wasted Time in the Netherlands
3. Final Years

The readership will include a wide group of people interested in the Dutch Revolt, Charles V, Philip II, Alessandro de’Medici, Ottavio Farnese, the Duke of Alba, Pius III, Cardinal Granvelle, religious persecution, and Spain’s advocacy of inquisitions.