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Raised to Rule

Educating Royalty at the Court of the Spanish Habsburgs, 1601-1634

Martha K. Hoffman

Publication Year: 2011

The children of Philip III of Spain (1578–1621) and Margarita de Austria (1584–1611) inherited great potential power: the abilities to declare war or make peace, to advocate religious doctrine, and to exert lasting influence over art, culture, and taste. The leadership provided by this generation raises the question of how royal families learned the roles they played in court, country, and on the international stage. In Raised to Rule, Hoffman presents a deeply researched and stimulating study of the formative experiences of children in the royal households of early modern Spain. Five of the eight children born to the royal couple survived to adulthood: the future king Philip IV; the future queen regent of France, Anne of Austria; the Cardinal-Infante Fernando, who rose to international fame as a general during the Thirty Years’ War; the future Empress María, briefly known as the princess of England during Charles Stuart’s 1623 pursuit of a “Spanish match”; and the Infante Carlos, the constant companion of Philip IV and his heir-presumptive for nearly a decade, who was named governor of Portugal but died before he could serve. Hoffman elucidates the formal instruction and informal training that prepared these individuals to shape the history of their country and influence all of Europe. For the heirs of Philip and Margarita, developmental experiences took place within the social structures and patronage systems of the royal court—a place that proved to be influential and precarious, where public and private relationships overlapped and political metaphors of family relationships reflected the reality of public service based on personal ties. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, including palace rulebooks, chronicles, household accounts, a journal of the royal chapel, diplomatic and personal correspondence, published and unpublished advice to kings, and treatises on the education of princes, Hoffman illustrates the formation of the leadership of Spain and early modern perceptions of the proper education and function of royalty. Hoffman’s Raised to Rule provides an insightful account of the education of the Spanish Habsburgs from 1601 to 1634. Her work fills a significant historiographical gap and offers new revelations into a previously neglected aspect of royal life.

Published by: Louisiana State University Press

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p. viii-viii

This project has been part of my life so long that I can hardly begin to acknowledge everyone who has contributed to its worldly existence. From the beginning, . . .

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01 At the Center of Their World

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pp. 1-21

On September 22, 1601, the first of the eight children of Philip III of Spain and Margarita de Austria was born in the Castilian city of Valladolid. Ten years later, also on . . .

Part 1: Childhood

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02 Mastering the Court

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pp. 25-53

The king and queen of Spain spent the summer of 1601 in the Castilian city of Valladolid, preparing the transition of the royal court to that city from Madrid and awaiting . . .

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03 Teachers and Formal Instruction

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pp. 54-79

When the Spanish crown prince Philip began his formal studies in April 1612, he was just a seven-year-old entering the classroom for the first time. The event was the . . .

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04 Defenders of the Faith

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pp. 80-108

During the Easter celebrations of 1578 the chronicler Luis Cabrera de Córdoba recounted, Philip II performed a ritual of washing the feet of thirteen poor men on Holy . . .

Part 2: Transitions to Adulthood

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05 Courtship and Marriage

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pp. 111-146

“Seeing you with new obligations of state that God has given you,” wrote Philip III to his eldest daughter as she prepared to travel to France to become its queen, “I did not . . .

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06 The Problem of the Infantes

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pp. 147-182

While public and private rejoicing greeted the birth of second and third sons to Philip III and Queen Margarita, the royal brothers eventually occasioned anxiety as much . . .

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07 "El Principe Instruido"

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pp. 183-215

Twelve years into his reign, Philip IV completed a translation of books 8 and 9 of Guicciardini’s history of Italy, which he had started several years earlier when already . . .

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08 The Function of Royalty

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pp. 216-226

Members of royal families did not so much learn their roles as they were their roles, and they served their function simply by existing. The royal family was meant to . . .


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pp. 227-254


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pp. 255-269


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pp. 271-277

E-ISBN-13: 9780807138342
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807138335

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2011