Court Masques: Jacobean and Caroline Entertainments, 1605-1640


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 masques traces the evolution of the genre from Jonson's early masques for King James I to Davenant's 1640 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 domesticmasque. Court masques were extravagant multi-media happenings, imbued with often arcane allegorical programmes by writers and designers, and frequently commenting on topical political issues. In this, the most substantial available selection, readers are offered the annotation necessary to gain anunderstanding of the complexities of the individual texts. Under the General Editorship of Michael Cordner of the University of York, the texts 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 of Renaissancedrama and court culture.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Ben Jonson
  • Thomas Campion
  • Samuel Daniel
  • George Chapman
  • Aurelian Townshend
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Oxford
Publication year:
  • 1995


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