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 monumentalThe Progresses of Queen Elizabeth (1788-1823).
Dr Jayne Archer is lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Literature in the Department of English, University of Wales (Aberystwyth). She is an Associate Fellow of the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, University of Warwick, where she spent four years as AHRC postdoctoral Research Fellow on the John Nichols project. She is General Editor of Court and Culture in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I: A New Edition of John Nichols's Progresses (OUP, 2007), and
has published articles on Elizabethan and Jacobean masques, early modern women's receipt books, and alchemy in early modern literature. She is currently working on a book-length study of the relationship between housewifery and natural philosophy in early modern England.
Elizabeth Goldring is a Research Fellow in the University of Warwick's AHRC Centre for the Study of Renaissance Elites and Court Cultures and an Associate Fellow of Warwick's History of Art Department. She is a General Editor of Court and Culture in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I: A New Edition of John Nichols's Progresses, for which she has also edited several entertainment texts. Previous publications include (co-editor) Court Festivals of the European Renaissance: Art, Politics
and Performance (Ashgate, 2002) and (associate general editor) Europa Triumphans: Court and Civic Festivals in Early Modern Europe (Ashgate, 2004). She has served as a Consultant to English Heritage at Kenilworth Castle.
Dr Sarah Knight is lecturer in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Leicester. She has published essays on early seventeenth-century satire and on academic print culture in Elizabethan and Jacobean England, and has translated and co-edited Leon Battista Alberti's Momus for the I Tatti Renaissance Library (Harvard University Press, 2003). Dr Knight is associate general editor of Court and Culture in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth: A New Edition of John Nichols's
Progresses, for which she has edited and translated the material relating to the University of Oxford.