The sixteenth century was an age of politically powerful women. Queens, acting in their own right, and female regents, acting on behalf of their male relatives, governed much of Western Europe. Yet even as women ruled--and ruled effectively--their right to do so was hotly contested. Men's voices have long dominated this debate, but the recovery of texts by women now allows their voices, long silenced, to be heard once again. "Debating Women, Politics, and Power in Early Modern Europe" is a study of texts and textual production in the construction of gender, society, and politics in the early modern period. Jansen explores the "gynecocracy" debate and the larger humanist response to the challenge posed by female sovereignty.
"An important and interesting contribution to the history of women. Jansen has woven together an amazing number of sources and offers a concise discussion of the controversy surrounding female rule in the sixteenth century." - Shawndra L. Holderby, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania