Catalogue


The Medici women : gender and power in Renaissance Florence /
by Natalie R. Tomas.
imprint
Aldershot, Hampshire, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, 2002.
description
xvi, 224 p.
ISBN
0754607771 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Aldershot, Hampshire, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, 2002.
isbn
0754607771 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5047781
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Natalie R. Tomas is an Honorary Research Associate for the School of Historical Studies, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-07-01:
This careful monograph analyzes the role of women in Medici family politics, 1434-1537, as that family's leading men gained control of Florence and ultimately became its hereditary rulers. Conversant in feminist theory, Tomas (historical studies, Monash Univ.) draws extensively on archival sources to show how these women used their authority as wives, widows, and mothers to influence powerful men. Insofar as they were viewed as supporting their own menfolk's interests, they could play an active role in politics, especially when their male relatives were in exile. Under the Medici popes Leo X (1513-21) and Clement VII (1523-34), they were even influential at the papal court, which previously had been an all-male preserve. But there were always limits to what was acceptable: Alfonsina Orsini, widow of Piero de' Medici, became a focal point for resentment of the increasingly seigneurial character of Medici governance. Contemporary critics interpreted her unofficial "rule" of Florence, 1515-19, as "a powerful metaphor for the loss of Florence's republican liberty," and they vilified her accordingly. Of interest particularly to scholars of Renaissance Italy and historians of women in the early modern period. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. K. Gouwens University of Connecticut
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, February 2004
Choice, July 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
The Medici Women is a study of the women of the famous Medici family of republican Florence in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Natalie Tomas here examines critically the changing contribution of the women in the Medici family to the eventual success of the Medici regime and their exercise of power within it; and contributes to our historical understanding of how women were able to wield power in late medieval and early modern Italy and Europe. Tomas takes a feminist approach that examines the experience of the Medici women within a critical framework of gender analysis, rather than biography. Keeping the historiography to a minimum and explaining all unfamiliar Italian terms, Tomas makes her narrative clear and accessible to non-specialists; thus The Medici Women appeals to scholars of women's studies across disciplines and geographical boundaries.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Earlier studies on the Medici family and its women have provided biographical details but this volume is the first for many years that focuses upon how and why their gender affected their access to power and the manner in which those women understood and exercised that power.
Long Description
The Medici Women is a study of the women of the famous Medici family of Florence in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Natalie Tomas examines critically the changing contribution of the women in the Medici family to the eventual success of the Medici regime and their exercise of power within it; and contributes to our historical understanding of how women were able to wield power in late medieval and early modern Italy and Europe.Tomas takes a feminist approach that examines the experience of the Medici women within a critical framework of gender analysis, rather than biography. Using the relationship between gender and power as a vantage point, she analyzes the Medici women's uses of power and influence over time. She also analyzes the varied contemporary reactions to and representation of that power, and the manner in which the women's actions in the political sphere changed over the course of the century between republican and ducal rule (1434-1537). The narrative focuses especially on how women were able to exercise power, the constraints placed upon them, and how their gender intersected with the exercise of power and influence.Keeping the historiography to a minimum and explaining all unfamiliar Italian terms, Tomas makes her narrative clear and accessible to non-specialists; thus The Medici Women appeals to scholars of women's studies across disciplines and geographical boundaries.
Table of Contents
List of Figuresp. ix
Abbreviationsp. xi
Notes on the Textp. xiii
Acknowledgementsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
The Locus of Powerp. 14
The Exercise of Powerp. 44
Medici Matronagep. 83
In Exilep. 105
At the Papal Courtp. 124
The 'Problem' of a Female Rulerp. 164
Afterwordp. 195
Bibliographyp. 199
Indexp. 213
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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