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The Question of Female Authority in Seventeenth-Century French Depictions of Eastern Monarchies

Harrigan, Michael (2010) The Question of Female Authority in Seventeenth-Century French Depictions of Eastern Monarchies. Seventeenth-Century French Studies, 32 (1). pp. 74-89. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:80139)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
Official URL
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/026510...

Abstract

Seventeenth-century French descriptions of Asian peoples testify to a constant fascination with 'oriental' gender roles. The concubine enclosed in the harem of a despotic monarch, and the tragic sati, are among the most familiar figures of the women of the East. This article examines a manifestation which has received less attention: that of the female royalty about whom travellers claimed to have garnered privileged eye-witness testimony. The reports of traders, ecclesiastics, ambassadors, or mercenaries reflect the heterogeneous nature of French contacts with Asia and with different strata of diverse societies. Vivid manifestations of female royalty are depicted at various levels of power: virtuous warrior princesses from Persia, immoral Chinese queens, or the creators or supporters of factions within the intrigues attributed to eastern courts. Yet these women remain distanced, to varying extents, from the traveller. Isolated from sight, or far removed in space or in time, they are often represented in histoires or anecdotes of considerable moral or dramatic interest. In an East made recognisable through fictional strategies, they characterise the governance of Asia, while edifying or entertaining readers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Royalty, court, anecdotes, sati, virtue
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Michael Harrigan
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2020 15:37 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:26 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/80139 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Harrigan, Michael: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5371-2528
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