By Russell E. Martin
From 1505 to 1689, Russia’s tsars selected their better halves via an complex 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 provided to the tsar, who inspected the applicants one via one—usually with out 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 poor, 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 complicated politics of royal marriage in early sleek Russia. Russell E. Martin argues that the character of the rituals surrounding the choice of a bride for the tsar tells us a lot in regards to the quantity of his strength, revealing it to be restricted and collaborative, no longer autocratic. Extracting the bride-show from relative obscurity, Martin persuasively establishes it as an important part of the tsarist political system.
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A Bride for the Tsar: Bride-Shows and Marriage Politics in Early Modern Russia by Russell E. Martin