About Me

Jonathan Spangler, historian, lecturer

I am a native of Virginia and have been fascinated in the histories of Europe’s royal and aristocratic families since my own family’s first trip to Europe in the 1980s. After finishing up undergraduate studies at the College of William & Mary (appropriately), I worked in museum and exhibition design firms in Washington and New York, then crossed the sea to complete a doctorate at Oxford University, uncovering new archival material about the family of the dukes of Guise and the court of Louis XIV of France. I continue to write on various topics about the French court in the early modern period, especially about the role of the ‘spare’, the king’s younger brothers (see links to books below). I also write about the Duchy of Lorraine, on France’s eastern borders, and other themes relating to the borderland nobilities of Europe. I teach European history at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK, and am the senior editor of The Court Historian, the journal of the Society for Court Studies.

I also occasionally comment on royal stories in the British media, particularly those that concern the roles of second sons, or other more junior members of the royal family.

You can also read some pieces I have written on this topic for The Conversation:




Or for BBC’s History Extra:


I recently contributed an Opinion Piece on the death of Queen Elizabeth II


And finally, here is a blog piece I wrote recently about writing this blog, for the Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage: very meta, a blog about a blog:




New! This book, published in 2021, won the Journal of Royal Studies best new book prize in 2022.


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