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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

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Politics and Political Culture in the Court Masque (Early Modern Literature in History)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Politics and Political Culture in the Court Masque treats the Jacobean masque as engaged with a broad range of ideas, issues and texts from other political arenas rather than as an exclusive tool of monarchy and court culture. Building on James I's own sense of the monarchical stage as a site of scrutiny not adulation, this book traces the masque's involvement in political events, such as the crises and scandals that provoke political debate, to argue for a form that is more experimental and more intensively concerned with how to articulate political criticism. Exploring a series of Jonson's Jacobean masques staged at political pressure points (Love Restored, The Irish Masque at Court, News for the New World in the Moon, and Gypsies Metamorphosed), this book suggests that these texts contribute to a wider public political culture. It links the masques to politics and political forms, such as libelous verse, from beyond courtly ceremoniousness and tact, and argues that the masque can represent more critical and controversial political ideas. The book closes with consideration of Shirley's Triumph of Peace as a response to the reinstitution of the Jonsonian masque in the 1630s, itself part of a cultural 're-launch' of the Caroline regime. In highlighting moments of strain in the interactions between the masque and political culture the pressures on the form and the debates around its purpose are seen as urgent and explicit, exposing questions of how to speak politics and how to engage in a political culture. Politics and Political Culture in the Court Masque proposes a more critical and stringent role for masques in a more contested and diverse politics.

Synopsis:

Challenging the deference to royal ideology that often typifies masque criticism, this study argues for the greater involvement of the masque in the wider political culture and discourses of early modern England.

Synopsis:

Challenging the deference to royal ideology that often typifies masque criticism, this study argues for the greater involvement of the masque in the wider political culture and discourses of early modern England. Drawing on news-books, contemporary reports, libellous verse and early political cartoons, and ranging across court and non-court texts, this study decentres Stuart masquing culture, to explore how masques participated in politics beyond the court, offering an alternative view of Ben Jonson's interactions with political and popular culture.

About the Author

JAMES KNOWLES is Professor of Early Modern Literature at the University of Keele.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Criticism, Consensus and the Political Culture of the Masque * Challenging Cecil * 'Crack Kisses not Staves': Gender, Libel and the Masques of 1613-14 * 'Hoarse With Praising': Gypsies Metamorphosed and the Politics of the Masque * 'The Extemporal Din of Balladry': Masquing in the 1620s * 'Dwarf Posts from Hell': Towards a Sociology of the Masque * Afterword: The Masque and Stuart Cultural Politics * Bibliography * Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780230008946
Author:
Knowles, James
Publisher:
Palgrave MacMillan
Subject:
History & Criticism *
Subject:
Regional, Ethnic, Genre, Specific Subject
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Subject:
European/English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
Renaissance
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Early Modern Literature in History
Publication Date:
20141031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
5 b/w illustrations
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Politics and Political Culture in the Court Masque (Early Modern Literature in History) New Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages Palgrave MacMillan - English 9780230008946 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Challenging the deference to royal ideology that often typifies masque criticism, this study argues for the greater involvement of the masque in the wider political culture and discourses of early modern England.
"Synopsis" by ,
Challenging the deference to royal ideology that often typifies masque criticism, this study argues for the greater involvement of the masque in the wider political culture and discourses of early modern England. Drawing on news-books, contemporary reports, libellous verse and early political cartoons, and ranging across court and non-court texts, this study decentres Stuart masquing culture, to explore how masques participated in politics beyond the court, offering an alternative view of Ben Jonson's interactions with political and popular culture.
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