Workshop – The British-Dutch World in the Age of Elizabeth of Bohemia

Friday, 21 April 2017, New Seminar Room, St John’s House, 69 South Street.

9.15-10.15
Welcome by Catherine Stihler MEP & Rector of the University

Miranda Lewis – Cultures of Knowledge: EMLO (Early Modern Letters Online), with a focus on WEMLO (Women’s Early Modern Letters Online) and Elizabeth of Bohemia

10.15-10.30 Coffee Break

10.30-12.00 – Chair: Steve Murdoch
Andrew R Little – The British-Dutch Maritime World in the Age of the Two Republics
Graeme Millen – Serve or Stand Down? British Regiments in the Netherlands 1648-1688

12.00-13.30 Buffet Lunch

13.30- 15.00 – Chair: Nadine Akkerman
Marika Keblusek – Curious Collections: Art and luxury objects at the Dutch Courts of Elizabeth of Bohemia
Esther Mijers – Education as Agency in the Scottish-Dutch World

15.00-15.15 Coffee Break

15.30-17.15 – Chair: Andrew Pettegree
Kirsty Rolfe – Remembering and Rewriting the ‘Palatine Cause’ in 1658-1660
Arthur der Weduwen – Britain and the Dutch newspaper trade in the seventeenth century

Round Table: The Age of Elizabeth – all speakers. Chair: Roger Mason

17.45 – ISHR Wine reception in the Undercroft.

19.00 dinner, Zizzi’s Italian Restaurant

Public lecture – Dr Nadine Akkerman

We are delighted to welcome Dr Nadine Akkerman of the University of Leiden, who will present a lecture entitled ‘Missreading Women, Misleading Women: How One Letter Changes Everything.’  The lecture will be held on Thursday 20 April, at 5.30 pm, in the Arts Lecture Theatre, and is followed by a workshop on Friday 21 April on The British-Dutch World in the Age of Elizabeth of Bohemia.  Anyone wishing to attend the workshop should contact Steve Murdoch no later than noon on Wednesday 19 April.

Elizabeth Stuart (1596-1662) was at the centre of European diplomacy, warfare and intrigue for much of her life. The daughter of James VI of Scotland, she was brought up in England following her father’s accession to the English throne in 1603. In 1613 she married the German Protestant, Frederick V, Count Palatine of the Rhine, and settled at their grand court in Heidelberg. When Frederick was elected king of Bohemia in 1619, they moved to Prague, but their reign was short-lived – earning them the soubriquets the ‘Winter Queen’ and the ‘Winter King’ – when Frederick was defeated by his Catholic rival for the throne at the battle of the White Mountain, often taken as the first engagement of the Thirty Years War. Forced to flee Bohemia, Elizabeth spent much of the rest of her life in the Hague, where she bore Frederick eight children before his death in 1632, and where she maintained a voluminous correspondence with key political, religious and cultural figures in contemporary Europe.

Dr Nadine Akkerman’s extensive research on Elizabeth has included editing three substantial volumes of her correspondence, published by Oxford University Press.

Her lecture draws on this research to explore the hitherto neglected role of women as spies in 17th century Europe. Challenging the assumption that women played little or no role in espionage, she will show how shop-keepers, singers, nurses, ladies-in-waiting, postmistresses, and women in other professions and positions operated as spies, especially during the period 1647-1667. Unlike men, these women were not restricted by codes of chivalry and honour. Sometimes they worked alone, but there is substantial evidence to suggest their involvement in secret spy networks. Hitherto unexamined archival material reveals the underground whereabouts of early modern female spies. How did early modern women spies operate differently from their male colleagues? To what extent were they successful and for what reasons? What were the advantages and restrictions of their gender? And, finally, how did female, seemingly informal, news networks intersect with the male world of high diplomacy, intelligence, and espionage? By addressing such questions, Dr Akkerman will demonstrate that early modern espionage was by no means a male preserve.

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

ISHR Reading Weekend 2017

This weekend saw the annual ISHR reading weekend take place at The Burn, Glenesk.  A number of ISHR members and guests gathered in these beautiful surroundings to share research in progress and catch up with events and issues in the field of Scottish history. Papers presented ranged from discussion of clothing in late medieval Scotland to the representation of Burns as ‘Scotland’s voice’ during and after the First World War. Participants also visited the nearby House of Dun, with a tour of the house itself and a chance to enjoy the sunshine in the surrounding grounds.  Once again, the hospitality of the staff at The Burn made the weekend as relaxing as as it was rewarding.

You can read more about the weekend on the School of History blog.

Enjoying the sunshine at the beautiful House of Dun. Photo attrib. Ellen Collingsworth. CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0.