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Bride for the Tsar Bride-Shows and Marriage Politics in Early Modern Russia

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ISBN-10: 0875804489

ISBN-13: 9780875804484

Edition: 2012

Authors: Russell E. Martin, Alexander Martin

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From 1505 to 1689, Russia’s tsars chose their wives through an elaborate ritual: the bride-show. The realm’s most beautiful young maidens—provided they hailed from the aristocracy—gathered in Moscow, where the tsar’s trusted boyars reviewed their medical histories, evaluated their spiritual qualities, noted their physical appearances, and confirmed their virtue. Those who passed muster were presented to the tsar, who inspected the candidates one by one—usually without speaking to any of them—and chose one to be immediately escorted to the Kremlin to prepare for her wedding and new life as the tsar’s consort.Alongside accounts of sordid boyar plots against brides, the multiple marriages of…    
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Book details

Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 6/15/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 394
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 2.002
Language: English

Russell E. Martin is professor of history at Westminster College and codirector of the Muscovite Biographical Database in Moscow.

Charts and Tables
Note on Dates, Names, and Transliteration
"It Would Be Best to Marry the Daughter of One of His Subjects" The Origins of the Bride-Show in Muscovy
"Without Any Regard for Noble Ancestry" Picking a Bride for the Tsar
"If You Marry a Second Time, You Will Have an Evil Child Born to You" Bride-Shows and Muscovite Political Culture
"To Assuage the Melancholy"-The Many Wives of Ivan IV
"Scheming to Be Rid of the Chosen Tsarevna" Conflict and Conspiracy in the Romanov Bride-Shows
"Worthy because the Tsar Adores You" The Last Bride-Shows and the Return of Foreign-Born Brides
Excerpts from the Chronograph of the Marriages of Tsar Ivan Vasil'evich
Candidates at the Bride-Shows for Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich, 1670-1671
Gifts Given to Candidates in the Bride-Show for Fedor Alekseevich, 1680