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Premodern Rulers and Postmodern Viewers

Pop culture portrayals of medieval and early modern monarchs are rife with tension between authenticity and modern mores, producing anachronisms such as a feminist Queen Isabel (in RTVE's Isabel), and a lesbian Queen Christina (in The Girl King). This book examines these anachronisms as a dialogue between premodern and postmodern ideas about gender and sexuality, raising questions of intertemporality, the interpretation of history, and the dangers of presentism. Covering a range of famous and lesser-known European monarchs on screen, from Elizabeth I to Muhammad XII of Granada, this book addresses how the lives of powerful women and men have been mythologized in order to appeal to today's audiences. The contributors interrogate exactly what is at stake in these portrayals; namely, our understanding of premodern rulers, the gender and sexual ideologies they navigated, and those that we navigate today.
Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Getting Modern: Depicting Premodern Power and Sexuality in Popular Media I. Reappraising female rulers in the light of modern feminism(s) 2. Early Modern Queens on Screen: Victors, Victims, Villains, Virgins, and Viragoes 3. Silencing Queens: The Dominated Discourse of Historical Queens in Film 4. Feminism, Fiction, and the Empress Matilda 5. "She is my Eleanor": The Character of Isabella of Angouleme on Film - A Medieval Queen in Modern Media 6. Women's Weapons in The White Queen 7. "Men go to battle, women wage war": Gender Politics in The White Queen and its Fandom II. Questions of adaptation: Bringing premodern queens to the page and screen 8. Religious Medievalisms in RTVE's Isabel 9. "The Queen of Time": Isabel I in The Ministry of Time (2015) and The Queen of Spain (2016) 10. From Mad Love to Mad Lust: The Dangers of Female Desire in Twenty-First Century Representations of Juana I of Castile in Film and Television 11. The Filmic Legacy of Queen Christina: Mika Kaurimaski's Girl King (2015) and Bernard Tavernier's Cinematic "Amazons" in D'Artagnan's Daughter (1994) and The Princess of Monpensier (2010) 12. Thomas Imbach's Marian Biopic: Postmodern Period Drama or Old-Fashioned Psychogram? III. Undermining authority: Rulers with conflicted gender and sexual identities 13. Queering Isabella: The "She-Wolf of France" in Film and Television 14. Seeing Him for What He Was: Reimagining King Olaf II Haraldsson in Post-War Popular Culture 15. Televising Boabdil, Last Muslim King of Granada 16. A man? A woman? A lesbian? A whore?: Queen Elizabeth I and the Cinematic Subversion of Gender

About the Author

Janice North is an independent scholar and specialist in medieval and Golden Age Iberian literature. Karl C. Alvestad is Lecturer in History at the University of Winchester, UK. Elena Woodacre is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern European History at the University of Winchester, UK.

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