Erdélyi, Gabriella. “Inheritance and Emotions: Performing the Patriarch in an Aristocratic Stepfamily in Seventeenth-Century Habsburg Hungary.” Journal of Family History (August 2020).
The case study investigates how the responsibilities of an early modern “anxious patriarch” modified in a stepfamily context. It focuses on the central concern of aristocratic patriarchs to secure the continuity of the lineage and transmit properties and governance by positioning a heir. By reading the testaments, correspondence and the exceptional series of instructions to his eldest son, the study depicts the strategies, which the aristocrat Miklós Esterházy adopted, and argues that these strategies served to solicit the compliance of and solidarity among kin, half-kin, and step-kin as well as his own image as a good father.