Correspondence of a Princess in the Epoch of Reformation
Edition of the letters of Duchess Elizabeth of Saxony
With good reason, Elizabeth of Saxony is seen as one of the politically and intellectually most influential female rulers in the epoch of the Reformation. As the older sister of Landgrave Philipp of Hesse, as confidante of Prince-Elector John Frederick (the Magnanimous), as older friend of the young Duke Moritz of Saxony, and finally in her role as Lutheran “standard bearer” at the Catholic court of her father-in-law, Duke George (the Bearded), Elizabeth was quite influential at the political and communicative interfaces of the Reformation time. Consequently, her correspondence allows deep insights into the events and their background. But at the same time, it documents an extraordinary female way of life. The corpus of Elizabeth ’s preserved correspondence contains approximately 2.000 letters. Because of handwriting and dictation, it is seen as difficult and therefore, in spite of its significance has been rarely used in historical research. The edition can rely on the preliminary studies of Elizabeth ’s biographer Elizabeth Werl. As a first phase, it is planned to include the letters up to the end of the Rochlitz dower (1547). After the publication of the first two volumes (1505-1534), the letters of the years 1535 to 1537 will be reproduced in full text in the third volume. This part deals with Elizabeth ’s last years at the Dresden court as well as with the acquisition of her Rochlitz jointure after the death of her husband Duke John of Saxony.