IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 1026: The Childless Queen, I

Wednesday 11 July 2012, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Medieval Studies, Seattle University
Organiser:Theresa Earenfight, Department of History, Seattle University
Moderator/Chair:Theresa Earenfight, Department of History, Seattle University
Paper 1026-aA Family of Two: Richard II, Anne of Bohemia, and Royal Childlessness in England, 1382-99
(Language: English)
Kristen Geaman, Department of History, University of Southern California
Index terms: Gender Studies, Medicine, Sexuality, Women's Studies
Paper 1026-bShifting Expectations: Maria de Lusignan and Elisenda de Montcada, Childless Queens of Aragon
(Language: English)
Eileen McKiernan González, Department of Art & Art History, Berea College, Kentucky
Index terms: Gender Studies, Medicine, Sexuality, Women's Studies
Abstract

Infertility and childlessness had a greater impact on queens than most other women in the Middle Ages. There were no official rules for a queen to follow when it came to having sex in the hopes of producing an heir. The marital debt of sexual relations was understood as a cultural imperative in a patriarchal society, transmitted orally from mother to daughter. But nature did not always cooperate even when the married couple was entirely willing. The papers in this session examine how kings and queens responded to and coped with not having a viable pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse.