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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 Published (February 2021)

eISBN 978-1-78920-878-8 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $39.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) 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


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