Borderland nobility: between France and the Netherlands (1470-1660)
Researcher: Violet Soen
This ongoing research contributes to two ongoing debates in Early Modern history by analysing the nobility at the border between France and the Netherlands from 1470 until 1660. The first debate concerns the role of the nobility in early modern state formation; the second one hinges on the effectiveness of monarchic patronage in influencing the strategies of noble lineages. The peculiarity of nobility in the ‘Franco-Netherlandish’ borderlands, with widespread possessions and therefore relations with various sovereigns, solves the one-sided approach of most research addressing only one early modern state. The project hinges on multidisciplinary border studies and transnational history, as it addresses the multilayered identity formation of an aristocracy operating in a transnational space.