A Bride for the Tsar: Bride-Shows and Marriage Politics in by Russell E. Martin

By Russell E. Martin

From 1505 to 1689, Russia’s tsars selected their other halves via an complex ritual: the bride-show. The realm’s most lovely younger maidens—provided they hailed from the aristocracy—gathered in Moscow, the place the tsar’s relied on boyars reviewed their clinical histories, evaluated their religious traits, famous their actual appearances, and proven their advantage. those that handed muster have been provided to the tsar, who inspected the applicants one by means of one—usually with out chatting with any of them—and selected one to be instantly escorted to the Kremlin to organize for her marriage ceremony and new existence because the tsar’s consort.

Alongside money owed of sordid boyar plots opposed to brides, the a number of marriages of Ivan the negative, and the attention-grabbing spectacle of the bride-show ritual, A Bride for the Tsar bargains an research of the show’s function within the complicated politics of royal marriage in early sleek Russia. Russell E. Martin argues that the character of the rituals surrounding the choice of a bride for the tsar tells us a lot concerning the volume of his strength, revealing it to be constrained and collaborative, now not autocratic. Extracting the bride-show from relative obscurity, Martin persuasively establishes it as a necessary section of the tsarist political system.

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