Dorota Vargová



Dorota Vargová completed her master’s degree at the University of Vienna with her thesis “Europe’s Friends, Europe’s Heroes”: New Aspects of the Relationship between Prince Eugene and Marlborough under the supervision of Wolfgang Schmale. She currently analyses late 18th century French manuscripts in a research project examining the dynamic of political loyalties of the ducal family of Arenberg between 1789–1814 under William D. Godsey at the Institute for Habsburg and Balkan Studies (Austrian Academy of Sciences). At the University of Vienna, she prepares her doctoral thesis The Dynamic of Action of the Duke and the Duchess of Marlborough in the Context of the English Socio-Political Landscape of the Early 18th Century under the supervision of Katrin Keller.



Research interests:

Early Modern Court Society, Gender History, Early Modern Couple’s Relationship, History of Political Thought, Cultural History, History of the Habsburg Monarchy (ca. 1600–1800), History of European Thought

Current research project:

In her doctoral thesis, Dorota Vargová focuses on the little-examined relationship between John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough (1650–1722) and his wife Sarah (born Jenyns), Duchess of Marlborough (1660–1744). The main objective of her thesis is this relationship’s impact on the actions of the influential ducal couple within their contemporary socio-political landscape. The duke and the duchess, the two capital actors of the English (British) socio-political landscape during the reign of Queen Anne (1701–1714) had been the subjects of numerous biographies and works in connection with their military (first) and court (latter) careers.
However, the thesis at hand aims at deconstructing these older historiographical narratives by putting the individual dynamic of action of the Marlboroughs as a couple (not as individuals) into focus. The duke’s and the duchess’s mutual communication and the process of decision-making in family, household and political affairs are therefore the key factors of this examination. Who and under what circumstances was the initiator of communication and who acted as a go-between? How did the internal dynamic of the Marlborough couple impact its actions at court and in politics, subsequently influencing the country’s decision-making bodies, especially the monarch? Based on the theoretical framework of gender-focused studies in early modern society (among others the works of Heide Wunder, Merry Wiesner-Hanks, Claudia Opitz-Belakhal, Katrin Keller and James Daybell) this thesis seeks to introduce the conceptual thinking of gender history into the examination of a topic, which is preconceived with simplified images of a military hero and a court intrigante. Based on the analysis of the vast correspondence of the Duke and the Duchess of Marlborough and other relevant manuscript collections, this thesis examines the couple’s individual way of functioning and shows how it was pivotal for the subsequent socio-political development on a larger scale. 



  • Friendship Between Early Modern “Heroes”. New Approaches to Prince Eugene and Marlborough. In: Marion Romberg – Mona Garloff – Doris Gruber – Manuela Mayer (Hg.), Querschnitt. Aktuelle Forschungen zur Habsburgermonarchie im 18. Jahrhundert (Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Gesellschaft zur Erforschung des Achtzehnten Jahrhunderts 38)         (Wien 2023), 37–56. | Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Verlage, DOI:10.7767/9783205218234.35 | peer-reviewed
  • Die neuzeitliche Geschichte von Marchegg (vom 16. Jahrhundert bis heute). In: Peter Aichinger-Rosenberger – Franz Beicht (Hg.), Schloss Marchegg. Stadtburg – Adelssitz –Storchennest
    (Weitra 2022), 118–121. | peer-reviewed 
  • Europas „Held“ in Habsburgs Diensten: Prinz Eugen von Savoyen. In: Niederösterreichische Nachrichten. Edition Geschichte (4/2022), 22-25. (popular science)