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More than Mere Spectacle: Coronations and Inaugurations in the Habsburg Monarchy during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

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Volume 31

Austrian and Habsburg Studies

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More than Mere Spectacle

Coronations and Inaugurations in the Habsburg Monarchy during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Edited by Klaas Van Gelder
Afterword by Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly

338 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-877-1 $145.00/£107.00 Hb Not Yet Published (February 2021)

eISBN 978-1-78920-878-8 eBook Not Yet Published

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“A significant and welcome contribution to the literature on political symbols and ritual that argues for their continued relevance through the early modern era and into the nineteenth century and, by implication, beyond.” • Hugh Agnew, The George Washington University

“This is an interesting, coherent, and important collection. It provides broad geographic coverage (from the Low Countries to Galicia) of a topic and an era that has heretofore been relatively understudied.” • Nancy M. Wingfield, Northern Illinois University


Across the medieval and early modern eras, new rulers were celebrated with increasingly elaborate coronations and inaugurations that symbolically conferred legitimacy and political power upon them. Many historians have considered rituals like these as irrelevant to understanding modern governance—an idea that this volume challenges through illuminating case studies focused on the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Habsburg lands. Taking the formal elasticity of these events as the key to their lasting relevance, the contributors explore important questions around their political, legal, social, and cultural significance and their curious persistence as a historical phenomenon over time.

Klaas Van Gelder is a postdoctoral researcher at the State Archives in Ghent and at Ghent University, Belgium. He is the author of Regime Change at a Distance: Austria and the Southern Netherlands following the War of the Spanish Succession (1716–1725) (Leuven, 2016).

Subject: History: 18th/19th Century
Area: Central/Eastern Europe


List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Note on Place Names

Introduction: Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Coronations and Inaugurations in the Habsburg Monarchy: Why Do They Matter?
Klaas Van Gelder

Chapter 1. The Care of Thrones: A Plethora of Investitures in the Habsburg Composite Monarchy and Beyond from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century
Petr Maťa

Chapter 2. Meaningless Spectacles? Eighteenth-Century Imperial Coronations in the Holy Roman Empire Reconsidered
Harriet Rudolph

Chapter 3. The Hungarian Coronations of Charles VI and Leopold II and the Representation of Political Compromise
Fanni Hende

Chapter 4. Maria Theresa, the Habsburgs and the Hungarian Coronations in the Light of the Coronation Medals, 1687–1741
Werner Telesko

Chapter 5. The Bohemian Coronation of Charles VI and Its Hidden Message
Petra Vokáčová

Chapter 6. Inaugurations in the Austrian Netherlands: Flexible Formats at the Interface between Constitution, Political Negotiation, and Representation
Klaas Van Gelder

Chapter 7. Conditioning Sovereignty in the Austrian Netherlands: The Joyous Entry Charter and the Inauguration of Maria Theresa in Brabant
Thomas Cambrelin

Chapter 8. Shaping a New Habsburg Territory: The 1773 Lemberg Act of Homage and the Galician Polish Nobility
Miloš Řezník

Chapter 9. Pageantry in the Revolutionary Age: Inaugural Rites in the Habsburg Monarchy, 1790–1848
William D. Godsey

Chapter 10. After 1848: The Heightened Constitutional Importance of the Habsburg Coronation in Hungary
Judit Beke-Martos

Afterword: The Last Habsburg Coronation and What it Means to Be Anointed
Helen Watanabe O’Kelly


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