The Power of the Royal Mistress

30m · August 14, 2020

The Power of the Royal Mistress

In 1660, the Royalist exiles were returning with European languages, manners and culture in tow. Yet, of all the European imports that Charles and his Royalist entourage ferried back to their homeland, it was the courtly position of the maîtresse-en-titre that would prove most significant. Despite the scandalous overtones of adultery inherent in the job title, it was a much sought-after role, offering financial and social opportunities not only to the mistress herself but also to her relatives, carving out a space for female agency in a patriarchal institution. Join Annalisa Nicholson in conversation with History Today Editor, Paul Lay, as she discusses her article from the August issue.Buy a copy of the August 2020 issue of History Today from our website, or read it via the History Today app, available on Google Play and the App Store. See

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