Frictions and Failures - Cultural Encounters in Crisis
«Frictions and Failures - Cultural Encounters in Crisis», ed. by Almut Bues, Deutsches Historisches Institut Warschau. Quellen und Studien 34, Wiesbaden (Harrassowitz Verlag) 2017, presents the papers of the third Marrying Cultures workshop (21-23 April 2016, Warsaw), which focused on those dynastic marriages which ran into difficulties of various kinds and examined a wide range of cases in order to determine what caused these frictions and failures.
It also extended the geographical range of the territories discussed by the project by concerning itself not just with Poland but with Hungary, Lithuania, Muscovy, and Russia. This was particularly valuable in bringing Orthodox consorts into the discussion, as well as the elective monarchy of Poland, in which the role of the consort is by definition different from that of a consort in a system of dynastic succession. Points of conflicts could easily arise from the queen consort’s presence in her new court. These might be religious (consorts were often of a different faith to that of their husband and new country); personal (rivalries with mistresses or favourites); diplomatic; or political. The case studies elucidated what these frictions tell us a) about the specific context in which they occurred; and b) about the problems, limitations and challenges of cultural transfer more broadly.
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