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Servants of the DynastyPalace Women in World History$
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Anne Walthall

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254435

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254435.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

Introducing Palace Women

Introducing Palace Women

(p.1) Introducing Palace Women
Servants of the Dynasty

Barbara Watson Andaya

University of California Press

This book offers a comparative view of the women who lived, worked, and served in royal courts around the globe. It discusses the importance of palaces in providing the setting for the theater of rule, as well as the relations between the monarch and the women closest to him. Most women who lived in palaces, even members of the nobility, worked as servants in one capacity or another, although servants could become relatives if they bore the ruler's children. Conversely, it can also be said that all women, including mothers, served the monarchy. Concubines were often privileged in art, literature, and the popular imagination, but unless they managed to bear children, they too are best classified as servants. This book highlights palace women's productive rather than reproductive roles, including their participation in the arts of entertainment and literature. It concludes with an chapter on the connections between popular culture and the royal family in France, just one example of how monarchs and their women have fared in the court of public opinion.

Keywords:   palace women, palaces, royal courts, monarchs, monarchy, servants, entertainment, popular culture, France, concubines

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