A Bride for the Tsar: Bride-Shows and Marriage Politics in by Russell E. Martin

By Russell E. Martin

From 1505 to 1689, Russia’s tsars selected their better halves via an complicated ritual: the bride-show. The realm’s most pretty younger maidens—provided they hailed from the aristocracy—gathered in Moscow, the place the tsar’s relied on boyars reviewed their scientific histories, evaluated their non secular traits, famous their actual appearances, and proven their advantage. those that handed muster have been awarded to the tsar, who inspected the applicants one by means of one—usually with no talking to any of them—and selected one to be instantly escorted to the Kremlin to arrange for her marriage ceremony and new existence because the tsar’s consort.

Alongside bills of sordid boyar plots opposed to brides, the a number of marriages of Ivan the bad, and the attention-grabbing spectacle of the bride-show ritual, A Bride for the Tsar deals an research of the show’s function within the advanced politics of royal marriage in early glossy Russia. Russell E. Martin argues that the character of the rituals surrounding the choice of a bride for the tsar tells us a lot concerning the quantity of his energy, revealing it to be restricted and collaborative, no longer autocratic. Extracting the bride-show from relative obscurity, Martin persuasively establishes it as a necessary component of the tsarist political system.

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