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This essay examines four case studies from the Nassau dynasty in the early modern period to explore strategies that converts used to negotiate understanding from their family members for their religious choices and to re-define their relationships and status as members of the dynasty. It studies the strategies and words used by male and female members of the dynasty, Flandrine of Nassau (1579–1640), Johann Ludwig of Nassau-Hadamar (1590–1653), Johann VIII of Nassau-Siegen (1583–1638), and Louise Hollandine of the Palatinate (1609–1722), each of whom had converted to Catholicism. The essay argues that these conversions provoked different strategies of dynastic and familial management, each of which responded to the gender of the converts, their positions in the hierarchy, and the potential consequences of their conversions for the House of Nassau and its political alliances.


Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences

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Journal Article

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