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4 - Managing People: Followers and Service

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2020

Erika Graham-Goering
Affiliation:
Ghent University
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Summary

This chapter assesses the impact of co-rule on the duchess’ political networks, using this external perspective which rarely features in studies of shared power to concretize the contemporary perceptions of joint authority. The stability, composition, and affiliations of two well-documented groups within the administration – the ducal council and the regional officials across Brittany – differentiate Jeanne and Charles’ scope of administration according to both chronological and geographic circumstances. Despite these differences, Jeanne actively worked together with Charles to reward their followers’ loyalty and maintain these political relationships; correspondingly, service to the duchess and duke was largely interchangeable, even for formal relationships such as homage. This relatively level hierarchy further links spousal co-rule to the other power-sharing structures in the medieval aristocracy, which promoted the idea (if not always the practice) of equality between lords.

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Chapter
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Princely Power in Late Medieval France
Jeanne de Penthièvre and the War for Brittany
, pp. 130 - 155
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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