Pricing a Bride: medieval and early modern dowries and nuptial economic policies

Rocio  Martinez's picture
Call for Publications
January 15, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Diplomacy and International Relations, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies, Modern European History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Marriage and money were concepts invariably linked in the medieval and early modern period. In the complicated world of dynastic royal and aristocratic marriages, the question of which assets would a bride bring to the marriage and which assurances will she be given in case she became a widow (with or without children) was of the utmost importance and the subject of challenging negotiations. Which factors had an impact on the quantity and quality of the dowry assigned to royal or aristocratic brides? How were non-monetary assets (inheritance rights, moveable goods, jewels, etc.) discussed and quantified in the marriage negotiations? How could a royal woman claim her dowry and promised assets and which problems and issues did she have to face to obtain it? These are only some of the questions we seek to explore in this edited volume, focused on the study and analysis of royal and aristocratic nuptial economic policies.

Proposals for chapters are welcome from scholars of all backgrounds, including PhD candidates and early career scholars. Proposals may cover any royal and aristocratic families of any territory and part of the world. Said proposals may focus on, but are not limited to, the following topics:

-Analysing royal and aristocratic dowries and the question of how different territories approached this issue.

-Exploring why some princesses were given a higher or lower dowry than others and how the dynastic, political, and diplomatic circumstances influenced dowry negotiations.

-Considering how non-monetary assets were discussed and included as part of the property/assets of a bride.

-Examining which assets were given to the bride by the groom (or vice versa) and how these were perceived, discussed, and managed. - Determining how conflicts over dowry payments and unpaid dowries could affect a royal and aristocratic bride. 

-Royal and aristocratic women and the management of their nuptial assets.

-Political, dynastic, and diplomatic problems linked to royal and aristocratic payments in general.

The volume is connected to the “Examining the Resources and Revenues of Royal Women in Premodern Europe” project but prospective authors do not need to be previously connected with the project in order to send in a proposal for this volume. The volume will be proposed to Amsterdam University Press’s “Studies in Monarchy & Money” series, edited by Charlotte Backerra and Cathleen Sarti. Please submit an abstract of 250-350 words and a brief bio to Rocío Martínez López ( by January 15, 2023. Any inquiries regarding the topic of the publication are welcome and people interested can write to Rocío Martínez López for further information. After the deadline, we will let authors know if their proposals are accepted as soon as possible. The date for submitting the full manuscript in English is scheduled for the last quarter of 2023. Thank you for your attention and we are looking forward to hearing from you!

Contact Info: 

Professor Rocio Martinez Lopez. 

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). 

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