592 Book Reviews / JESHO 52 (2009) 579-618 Anne WALTHALL, ed. Servants of the Dynasty: Palace Women in World History . Berkeley [etc.]: University of California Press, 2008. xi + 381 pp., maps, ill., paperback. ISBN: 978-0-520-25444-2. Th is timely book, edited by Anne Walthall, is a collection of 15 pioneering articles by historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists on women’s vary- ing roles in royal courts around the globe. Ranging in time from the Maya courts (250-900 CE) in Mesoamerica to several nineteenth-century courts, the authors provide incisive accounts of women in relation to monarchies in Southeast Asia, the Mughal Empire, West Africa, China, Japan, Korea, Byzantium, the Ottoman Empire, Russia, and France. Th e essays are not explicitly comparative, but together they provide the comparativist with a great deal of useful information about the many varied ways that women served monarchical institutions in the past: as mothers, wives, concubines, entertainers, servants, attendants, and oﬃ cials. Th e introduction oﬀ ers a useful overview by Anne Walthall who out- lines the scope of the volume and points out some of the common themes that may be gleaned from these specialized studies. In the ﬁ rst essay, Barbara Watson Andaya
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2009
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