The masque had a brief but splendid life as the dominant mode of entertainment at the early Stuart court, and it has increasingly come to be recognized as a genre offering a fascinating insight into the culture and politics of the early seventeenth century. This selection of 18 masque for Charles I, performed just before the outbreak of civil war. It also includes examples of entertainments performed on royal progresses, as well as one domestic masque. Court masques were extravagant multi-media happenings, imbued with often arcane allegorical programmes by writers and designers, and frequently commenting on tipical political issues. In this, the most substantial available selection, readers are offered the annotation necessary for understandingthe complexities of the individual texts. Under the General Editorship of Michael Cordner, of the University of York, the texts of the plays have been newly edited and are presented with modernized spelling and punctuation. In addition to the detailed notes there is a scholarly introduction, making this edition invaluable to students ofRenaissance drama and court culture.