Matriarchs in the Shadow of Catherine de Medici: Noble Widows in Sixteenth Century France
I am currently studying for my Masters in Early Modern History at the University of Oxford (2020/2021), under the supervision of Regius Chair Professor Lyndal Roper, and Professor David Parrott.
I had initially planned to research the agency of sex workers in late sixteenth century Florence, but unfortunately the pandemic made this impossible. I'm definitely not the only one to have discovered that planned work became unfeasible - travel to archives was essential to my project, and the situation meant that it wasn't safe or reasonable to rely on this being possible.
Instead, I have changed my thesis topic!
I am now working on a project considering how widowed noblewomen became matriarchs of their families during the French Wars of Religion and the immediate aftermath. This project draws on the significant scholarship which discusses Catherine de Medici's role as Queen Mother, and the power she exerted.
This research is only in its infancy, but I am happy to discuss it - please send me an email if you would like to know more.
That said, I am still planning to research sex workers in the future! I'm currently working on my PhD application, and my proposal is a comparative study between Seville, Lyon and Mexico City in the late 16th and early 17th century. So keep your eyes peeled, you never know...