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English Consorts: Power, Influence, Dynasty

Edited by Aidan Norrie, Carolyn Harris, Joanna Laynesmith, Danna Messer, and Elena Woodacre

English Consorts: Power, Influence, Dynasty is a four-volume series—which is contracted to be published in Palgrave Macmillan’s “Queenship and Power” series—that aims to provide short, focused, well-researched, and refereed biographies of all of the English consorts since the Conquest.

Revised Call for Contributors:

The Editors have been delighted at the proposals we have received thus far, and hope that more will come in before the 1 May 2019 deadline.

With fewer than 2 months to go, however, we have decided to issue a revised Call for Contributors to advertise the consorts that we have received no abstracts for.

So, while we are keen to hear from prospective authors on any consort, we are especially looking for submissions on:

Norman to Early Plantagenet Consorts 


  • Margaret of France (wife of Henry the Young King)
  • Isabella of Gloucester (wife of King John)

Later Plantagenet and the Wars of the Roses Consorts 


  • Isabella de Valois

Tudor and Stuart Consorts

  • Elizabeth of York
  • Katherine of Aragon
  • Elizabeth Cromwell and Dorothy Cromwell (a double-biography of the wives of the Lords Protectors Cromwell)

Hanoverian to Windsor Consorts

  • Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • Caroline of Brunswick
  • Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother
  • Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh

The Editors are happy to field questions and queries. We can be contacted at: englishconsorts@gmail.com

Call for Contributors:

The Penguin Monarchs series is the latest in a long line of publications that have focused on the monarchs of England. The Penguin series, in particular, has generally been successful in combining scholarly research with readability and accessibility, often because the authors have chosen a particular lens to view the monarch through, giving the biographies more focus.

The Penguin Monarchs series, however, shines a light on what is generally still missing from studies of the English monarchy: the role of the consort. While the last decade has seen a plethora of both scholarly and popular biographies published on England’s consorts, there is no single, scholarly compendium where all the consorts since the Norman Conquest can be consulted: it is this curious lacuna that English Consorts: Power, Influence, Dynasty seeks to fill, creating a vital reference work for scholars, students, and the interested public.

English Consorts: Power, Influence, Dynasty is a four-volume series—intended for Palgrave Macmillan’s “Queenship and Power” series—that aims to provide short, focused, well-researched, and refereed biographies of all of the English consorts since the Conquest. Edited by a team of queenship experts and historians of monarchy, each of the volumes (Volume 1: Early Medieval Consorts; Volume 2: Later Medieval Consorts; Volume 3: Tudor and Stuart Consorts; Volume 4: Hanoverian to Windsor Consorts) will include biographical essays, as well as commissioned essays from leading experts on various thematic topics. We are interested in both male and female consorts, but can only include essays related to the spouses of a reigning monarch: as such, Anne Hyde and Sophia Dorothea of Celle will not be included, but we plan to include an essay on Margaret of France, wife of Henry the Young King.

Like the Penguin Monarchs books, however, each of the essays must have a lens through which the consort is viewed. Rather than simply replicating the consort’s entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, readers should come away from each essay with a sense of what was unique to, or ‘special’ about, a particular consort. For instance, the essay on Elizabeth of York could be sub-titled ‘The Unifier’, and focus on her role in the ending of the Wars of the Roses, or instead ‘Daughter, Sister, Niece, Wife, and Mother of Kings’, and focus on her political, social, and religious influence during her life. Likewise, the essay on Philip II could be sub-titled ‘The First Male Consort’, or instead, ‘King and Consort’.

Potential authors may submit abstracts for more than one consort. We ask, however, that the abstracts all be sent as attachments to the same email, with the chapters ranked in preference. Proposed chapter titles should take the format of the consort’s name, followed by a colon, followed by the brief sub-title that signifies to the reader the chapter’s focus. We also plan to include some thematic essays that take a particular angle, and consider the consorts from an entire dynasty together. Interested authors may wish to also submit an abstract for one of these essays.

Please send chapter abstracts of no more than 250 words, accompanied by a brief biography, for essays between 6000 and 7500 words (including references) to englishconsorts at gmail dot com by 1 May 2019. Accepted authors will be notified by mid-July 2019, and completed essays will be due to the volume’s editor by 1 June 2020.

We are keen to hear from scholars regardless of their career stage or situation, and encourage submissions from specialists from a range of disciplines (including, but not limited to, history, literary studies, art history, archaeology, race studies, and the performing arts).

Thematic Essay Topics:

In relation to the thematic essay topics, we have some fairly solid ideas for the content we want covered. To help out potential contributors, the following essay topics are currently in need of an author:

  • Consorts, Mobile Courts, and Absent Husbands
  • The Hanoverian Consorts
  • The Windsor Consorts

While the content and coverage of the essay is fairly fixed, we are interested in a wide range of angles and approaches. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions, or have an idea you'd like to run past us. We are also happy to receive abstracts for co-authored pieces.

Queens of England Series:

Authors might also be interested in submitting proposals to the upcoming monograph series on the Queens of England, published by Routledge, and edited by Ellie Woodacre and Louise Wilkinson. For more information, see here, or contact Ellie at: Ellie dot Woodacre at winchester dot ac dot uk.

Quick Links:
  • Download PDF version of Call for Contributors here.
  • Download Notes for Contributors here.