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Court Culture and the Origins of a Royalist Tradition in Early Stuart England

By R. Malcolm Smuts

Publication Year: 1999

In this work R. Malcolm Smuts examines the fundamental cultural changes that occurred within the English royal court between the last decade of the sixteenth century and the outbreak of the Civil War in 1642.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

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pp. xi-xii

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. xiii-xiv

In preparing this book, I have incurred more debts than I can properly acknowledge. The foremost are to Lawrence Stone, who supervised the thesis from which it grew and who has since read and commented on two subsequent drafts. His suggestions, criticisms, and encouragement have been invaluable. Anthony Grafton, Earl Miner, and T. K. ...

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1. INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-12

This book is a study of culture and its relationship to politics within the English royal court during the half-century before the outbreak of the Civil War in 1642. The importance of this period in the history of royal government has always been obvious, even though scholars continue to differ profoundly over its interpretation. Changes during the same span ...

Part One. The Cults of Monarchy and The Wars of Religion

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pp. 13-14

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2. THE STUARTS AND THE ELIZABETHAN LEGEND

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pp. 15-50

In 1603 the Stuarts inherited a throne that had stood for a generation as a bulwark against the ambitions of Spain and the Counter Reformation. England's intemational leadership of the Protestant cause was, to be sure, due largely to circumstances beyond her ruler's control. Elizabeth did her best to keep out of the religious wars sweeping across ...

Part Two. The Formation of a New Court Culture

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pp. 51-52

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3. THE COURT AND LONDON AS A CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT

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pp. 53-72

To this point we have concentrated on forms of art, literature, and pageantry that reflected reactions to the Crown's religious and foreign policies. Yet the cultural changes occurring within the court between the 1590s and the 1630s cannot be understood simply as a response to politics. Before pursuing our analysis into the period of Charles's personal ...

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4. CLASSICAL CULTURE AND MORAL REFORM

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pp. 73-116

The distinctive ambience of the royal court and the society orbiting around it did not escape the notice of contemporaries. The contrast between courtly sophistication and simple country manners was already a commonplace in our period. Some observers praised the elegance and refinement of life in the capital, compared with what Donne once ...

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5. THE DISCOVERY OF EUROPEAN ART: COLLECTING AND PATRONAGE

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pp. 117-138

The classical influences we have been tracing were one major stimulus to the development of early Stuart court culture. Another, of at least equal importance, was a growing admiration for continental painting and sculpture, which the English court first fully discovered in this period.1 At the beginning of James's reign England had assimilated less of ...

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6. THE DISCOVERY OF EUROPEAN ART: AESTHETICS AND IDEAS

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pp. 139-182

We have so far examined the artistic changes occurring at the Stuart court through a nuts-and-bolts study of administration and patronage. But those changes ultimately involved far more than the assembling of great collections and the recruitment and supervision of foreign artists. Court art and architecture were not just decorative embellishments; ...

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7. CHARLES I AND THE CONSOLIDATION OF A COURT CULTURE

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pp. 183-229

The reign of James I witnessed a series of fundamental innovations in the art, literature, and music of the royal court, but even in the early 1620s these experiments had not entirely supplanted the court culture of the late sixteenth century. Prodigy house architecture, neo-chivalric pageantry and verse, and costume portraiture in the tradition of Hilliard ...

Part Three. Court Culture, Religion, and Politics in the 1630s

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pp. 215-216

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8. RELIGION

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pp. 217-244

It should now be evident that the relationship between the culture of the early Stuart court and the values underlying the Crown's more controversial policies was almost never simple and straightforward. Charles did not try to render art and literature subservient to the needs of the state in the manner of modern totalitarian regimes and some continental...

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9. THE HALCYON REIGN

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pp. 245-284

Side by side with the creed of divine right monarchy there developed in the 1630s a secular cult of Charles and Henrietta Maria. Its central theme was the peace bestowed by the monarchs upon England, often symbolized by the halcyon, a mythical bird who builds her nest upon the ocean and possesses a magical power to calm the waves. As Albion's ...

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EPILOGUE: COURT CULTURE AND THE FORMATION OF A ROYALIST TRADITION

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pp. 285-292

Charles and Henrietta Maria last performed a masque celebrating the blessings of their halcyon reign in January 1640. By then the structure of prerogative government had already begun to crumble, lending a note of urgency to the allegorical triumph of royal love over factious humors acted out before the assembled court. Over the next two years ...

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 293-310

INDEX

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pp. 311-322


E-ISBN-13: 9780812203127
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812216967

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 1999