The Essex House Masque of 1621: Viscount Doncaster and the Jacobean Masque
In the winter of 1621, in the early years of the crisis that became the Thirty Years War, a French ambassador came to London on a high-profile diplomatic visit. Though his mission was ostensibly to convey greetings from his monarch to King James I, the ambassador's true purpose was to arrest the growth of Spanish power in Europe by keeping England from aiding rebel Protestants in France and by discouraging English plans for a Spanish marriage. The ambassador was lavishly entertained with a series of feasts, banquets and masques. One of these masques was presented at Whitehall on behalf of the king; the other was presented for the king, court and visiting ambassador at Essex House, the London residence of James Hay, Viscount Doncaster. The Essex House Masque of 1621 presents an annotated critical edition of the recently discovered manuscript text of that masque.
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The Essex House Masque
One Diplomatic and Literary Contexts
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