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The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth I

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Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press

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More than any other English monarch before or since, Queen Elizabeth I used her annual progresses to shape her royal persona and to bolster her popularity and authority. During the spring and summer, accompanied by her court, Elizabeth toured southern England, the Midlands, and parts of the West Country, staying with private and civic hosts, and at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The progresses provided hosts with unique opportunities to impress and influence the Queen, and became occasions for magnificent and ingenious entertainments and pageants, drawing on the skills of architects, artists, and craftsmen, as well as dramatic performances, formal orations, poetic recitations, parades, masques, dances, and bear baiting.

The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth I is an interdisciplinary essay collection, drawing together new and innovative work by experts in literary studies, history, theatre and performance studies, art history, and antiquarian studies. As such, it will make a unique and timely contribution to research on the culture and history of Elizabethan England. Chapters include examinations of some of the principal Elizabethan progress entertainments, including the coronation pageant Veritas temporis filia (1559), Kenilworth (1575), Norwich (1578), Cowdray (1591), Bisham (1592), and Harefield (1602), while other chapters consider the themes raised by these events, including the ritual of gift-giving; the conduct of government whilst on progress; the significance of the visual arts in the entertainments; regional identity and militarism; elite and learned women as hosts; the circulation and publication of entertainment and pageant texts; the afterlife of the Elizabethan progresses, including their reappropriation in Caroline England and the documenting of Elizabeth's reign by late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century antiquarians such as John Nichols, who went on to compile the monumental The Progresses of Queen Elizabeth (1788-1823).

Author Biography

Jayne Elisabeth Archer, Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth,Elizabeth Goldring, Research Fellow, University of Warwick,Sarah Knight, Lecturer in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, University of Leicester

Jayne Elisabeth Archer is Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Elizabeth Goldring is Research Fellow at the University of Warwick

Sarah Knight is Lecturer in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Leicester

Table of Contents

Notes on contributors
List of illustrations
List of maps
1. Introduction: Elizabetha Triumphans, Jayne Archer and Sarah Knight
I. The Elizabethan Progresses: Patterns, Themes, and Contexts
2. Monarchy in Motion: An Overview of the Progresses of Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Hill Cole
3. Gift-Giving and Hospitality on the Elizabethan Progresses, Felicity Heal
II. Civic and Academic Receptions for Queen Elizabeth I
4. Location as Metaphor in Elizabeth I's Coronation Entry (1559): Veritas Temporis Filia, Hester Lees-Jeffries
5. Royal Entertainments at the Universities: Playing for the Queen, Siobhan Keenan
6. Mysteries, Musters, and Masque: The Import(s) of Elizabethan Civic Entertainments, C. E. McGee
7. Pulling the Strings: Religion and Politics in the Progress of 1578, Patrick Collinson
8. The 'I' of the Beholder: Thomas Churchyard and the 1578 Norwich Pageant, David M. Bergeron
III. Private Receptions for Queen Elizabeth I
9. Portraiture, Patronage, and the Progresses: Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and the Kenilworth Festivities of 1575, Elizabeth Goldring
10. Contesting Terms: Loyal Catholicism and Lord Montague's Entertainment at Cowdray, 1591, Elizabeth Heale
11. Elizabeth's Reception at Bisham (1592): Elite Women as Writers and Devisers, Peter Davidson and Jane Stevenson
12. Elizabethan Entertainments in Manuscript: The Harefield Festivities (1602) and the Dynamics of Exchange, Gabriel Heaton
IV. Afterlife: Caroline and Antiquarian Perspectives
13. 'In the purest times of peerless Queen Elizabeth': Jonson and the Politics of Caroline Nostalgia, James Knowles
14. A Pioneer of Renaissance Scholarship: John Nichols and the Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth, Julian Pooley
Select Bibliography of Secondary Criticism

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