Abstract

abstract:

Whereas early modern monstrosity generally has enjoyed in-depth historical investigation, the presence of so-called monsters at the European royal courts has been somewhat overlooked. By using a severity continuum of deformity and a subcontinuum of emancipation as a framework, this article addresses three specific questions regarding court monstrosity: Why did such individuals reside at court? What role did they have within the court? How were they perceived and treated by other courtiers? The article will first address those who belonged at the less severe end of the severity continuum but whose relatively minor abnormalities nevertheless rendered them wondrous—courtly dwarfs and giants. This is followed by an examination of two of the more unusual types of deformities belonging to the more severe end of the continuum—people with hirsutism and conjoined twins.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2161-2188
Print ISSN
2161-2196
Pages
pp. 182-214
Launched on MUSE
2018-08-31
Open Access
No
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