Writing and Reading Royal Entertainments: From George Gascoigne to Ben Jonson

Hardcover | July 18, 2010

byGabriel Heaton

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This major new study of Elizabethan and Jacobean royal entertainments, including country house entertainments, tiltyard speeches, and court masques, is the first to look in detail at the evidence provided by the surviving material texts. Drafts, royal presentation manuscripts,widely-circulating scribal copies, and printed pamphlets are all carefully placed in their cultural context, and the medium of manuscript is shown to have been at least as important as print for these texts' circulation. From the close collaboration between commissioning host and hired writer, tothe varied interpretations imposed by copyists and publishers, entertainments were written and read within a complex social nexus: far from being royal propaganda, they reflected the distinct and sometimes competing agendas of monarchs, commissioning hosts, authors, publishers, scribalintermediaries, and readers. Writing and Reading Royal Entertainments explores this interpretative community through a range of texts. The first part of the book looks at Elizabethan entertainments: the Woodstock entertainment of 1575 (Chapter I); tiltyard speeches (Chapter II); and the distinctive features of printed pamphletsand scribal copies, notably of the 1602 Harefield entertainment (Chapter III). The second part of the book is mostly concerned with Ben Jonson's work for the Jacobean court, with chapters on the Merchant Taylors' entertainment (Chapter IV) and the Theobalds' entertainment (Chapter V). The finalchapter looks at the texts of court masques, especially in the light of Jonson's understanding of the poet's elevated role. The book's conclusion takes the story of these material texts beyond the early modern period and looks at how they have been collected, bought, and sold over thecenturies.

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This major new study of Elizabethan and Jacobean royal entertainments, including country house entertainments, tiltyard speeches, and court masques, is the first to look in detail at the evidence provided by the surviving material texts. Drafts, royal presentation manuscripts,widely-circulating scribal copies, and printed pamphlets are...

Gabriel Heaton was born and grew up in London. He took his first degree at the University of Durham, and obtained his doctorate from Cambridge in 2003. He worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Warwick, editing Elizabethan entertainments and related texts for Court and Culture in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I: ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.1 inPublished:July 18, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199213119

ISBN - 13:9780199213115

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Elizabethan EntertainmentsI. The Queen and the Hermit: the Tale of HemetesII. Armed Address: the Elizabethan tournamentIII. Publishing Praise: the circulation of Elizabethan entertainment texts From Elizabethan to JacobeanPart II: Ben Jonson and the Jacobean CourtIV. Negotiating Gifts: the 1607 entertainment at Merchant Taylors' HallV. Revision and Sociability: the 1607 entertainment at TheobaldsVI. The Jacobean Masque: Jonson, authorship, and royal addressConclusion: Selling EntertainmentsBibliography