Publication Date



This article explores the evolving relationship between Catherine de Médicis and her daughter, Elisabeth de Valois, as the latter became Queen of Spain. The particular dynamics of their changing political roles juxtaposed with their relative status within the Valois familial hierarchy can be analysed through the extant correspondence that became their main conduit for communication after Elisabeth's marriage and removal to Spain. This correspondence highlights epistolary strategies of emotional rhetoric, silence, and even delay, as well as meaning conveyed through the use of scribes and the physical placement of messages upon paper. These letters between a mother and daughter further reveal complex patterns of involvement of a wider group of individuals at court within the epistolary network, which meant all communication was subject to supervision, interference and mediation.


Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Grant Number


Access may be restricted.