A Renaissance Marriage: The Political and Personal Alliance of Isabella d'Este and Francesco Gonzaga 1490-1519

Carolyn James

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


The marriage of Isabella d’Este, one of the most famous figures of the Italian Renaissance, and Francesco Gonzaga, ruler of the small northern Italian principality of Mantua (r. 1484-1519), offers a fascinating portrait of political marriage in the early modern period. Within several years of their wedding, the aristocratic couple had to deal with the political challenges posed by the first decades of the Italian Wars (1494-1559) and, later, the scourge of the Great Pox. A Renaissance Marriage humanizes a relationship that was organized for entirely strategic reasons, but had to be inhabited emotionally if it was to produce the political and dynastic advantages that had inspired the match.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages204
ISBN (Print)9780199681211
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2020


  • Renaissance Marriage
  • Early modern Italy
  • Early modern Family life
  • History of the Emotions

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