The “Citie of Ladies” at the English Court

Susan Groag Bell

in The Lost Tapestries of the City of Ladies

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780520234109
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928787 | DOI:
The “Citie of Ladies” at the English Court

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This chapter discusses several pressing questions about the tapestries found in Princess Elizabeth's garderobe. It answers how and why they were acquired, and what happened to them after the twenty-five-year-old Elizabeth I came to the throne eleven years later, in 1558. It suggests that Anne of Brittany's set of Book of the City of Ladies tapestries had been purchased in Tournai from the prestigious Flemish tapestry merchants, the Greniers, sometime prior to 1491, the year Anne married Charles VIII of France. Regardless of the accuracy of this theory, the set presented to Margaret of Austria in 1513 by the Tournai city magistrates was acquired through the Greniers. This poses questions that the young Anne Boleyn may have longed for a set of City of Ladies tapestries after seeing the set presented to her mistress, Margaret of Austria, and Thomas Boleyn, her father, may have indulged in her wishes.

Keywords: tapestries; garderobe; Elizabeth I; Anne of Brittany; Book of the City of Ladies; Tournai; Margaret of Austria; Greniers; Anne Boleyn; Thomas Boleyn

Chapter.  3904 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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