Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines the main characteristics and connotations of the early modern court. A discussion of the historiography highlights major changes and influences, including Norbert Elias and anthropology. The chapter then integrates recent research into a presentation of court offices and staffs, numbers and costs, the role of women, the urban context of court life, ceremony and court culture, political power and favourites. The conclusions revise some widely held views. Rulers more often than not aimed to reduce their courts, viewing enlargement as a financial threat as well as an undermining of order. Most courts formed a combination of households rather than a single establishment, a situation reflecting the role of the dynasty around the individual ruler. Women played a marked role, particularly as mothers and dowagers. Finally the chapter shows that the court in the early modern age was in several respects different from preceding and later courts.

Keywords: Court, royal court, household, household staffs and offices, patronage, favourites, faction, ritual

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.