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Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger
Maria Theresia. Die Kaiserin ihrer Zeit

© C. H. Beck Verlag, München, 2017 Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger: Maria Theresia. Die Kaiserin ihrer Zeit © C. H. Beck Verlag, Munich, 2017For four decades, from 1740 until her death in 1780, a woman, Maria Theresia, governed the Hapsburg Empire, extending from Bohemia to Northern Italy, putting all gender clichés to a hard test. By virtue of being female, she should have been weak and helpless, yet she asserted herself in the men’s world of princes and kings. What is more, Maria Theresia’s reform policy and absolutist claim to power influenced a whole era. (…)
German historian Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger (…) describes her as a woman from a very remote, late Baroque world who seems rather alien to us. Maria Theresia, says Stollberg-Rilinger, very consciously separated her “gender from her role as regent”, banishing her femininity from her “self-presentation“. Not infrequently, Maria Theresia even showed a downright “brusque lack of sympathy” towards her subjects. (…)
In her brilliantly written biography, which is more than a thousand pages long, Stollberg-Rilinger draws a picture of a power-conscious ruler who at first is completely underestimated by her political opponents, but who is later understood to be their equal. “For once the Hapsburgs have a man, and then it is a woman“, noted the Prussian King Frederick II respectfully.

Martin Doerry: „Dieser Mann ist eine Frau“
© Literatur Spiegel, April 2017

Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger
Maria Theresia. Die Kaiserin ihrer Zeit
C. H. Beck Verlag, Munich, 2017
ISBN 9783406697487
1.084 pages


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