4 October 2012 – 28 February 2013
Courts can be defined as ruling dynasties, their households and palaces. Until 1918 they were keys to power and creativity, and to the growth of countries, cities and armies. Dynastic marriages helped create Spain out of Castile and Aragon, Britain out of England and Scotland. In the nineteenth century the Prussian monarchy and army conquered or united Germany, as the Piedmontese conquered or united Italy. For four centuries the Ottoman dynasty and its servants united the Balkans the Middle East and North Africa in the Ottoman Empire. In Courts and Monarchs Philip Mansel focuses on the dynamic role played by courts in Europe and the Middle East, particularly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Europe continued to be linked by networks of courts, and court cities, until 1914.