Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Though previous studies on the political career of Catherine de' Medici have been male-centric, focusing primarily on Catherine's relationships with her sons and male noblemen, it is the contention of this thesis that Catherine amassed a female-based political network during her tenure as Queen mother. Comprised of both her female relatives and the noblewomen that surrounded her at court, Catherine used this system of females to manipulate both domestic and foreign politics. The first chapter of this thesis will focus on Catherine's political purpose for her eldest and youngest daughters, Elisabeth de Valois (consort of Philip II of Spain) and Marguerite de Valois (first wife of Henri IV of France). The second chapter will next examine the role of Catherine's three daughters-in-law, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, Elisabeth of Austria, and Louise de Lorraine-Vaudemont within her political network. The final chapter will then concentrate on two members of Catherine's infamous "flying squadron," Louise de La Beraudiere, also known as "la belle Rouhet" and Charlotte de Sauve respectively, and how the Queen mother utilized them to manage potentially troublesome noblemen at court.
Benner, Kelly A., "Rethinking Modes of Political Influence: Catherine de' Medici and her Female Political Network" (2011). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 789.