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Perceptions of Influence: The Catholic Diplomacy of Queen Anna and Her Ladies, 1601–1604

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Chapter Summary

The world of diplomacy in the late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-centuries was, as was so much of government and politics in that period, one dominated by men. This chapter shows that the queen consort was seen as a direct line to the king, and the ladies that surrounded her as key figures of influence. The variety of ways in which women participated in early modern diplomacy can be seen in the ladies-in-waiting of Queen Anna. Owing to the Catholic religion of the queen and certain ladies of her household, Catholic powers had an unofficial line of communication with James VI & I in Protestant Britain. The Catholic diplomacy of Queen Anna and her ladies reveal that perceptions of influence, combined with the lack of autonomous authority or power allowed court women to participate in a world theoretically closed to them.

Keywords: Catholic diplomacy; ladies-in-waiting; protestant Britain; Queen Anna



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