London and The Hague, 1638
Performing quacks at court
in Transnational connections in early modern theatre
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The final tournament entry of a court festival of February 1638 at The Hague: ‘The knights of the dromedary and alchemists’, features actual farces and plays performed by a genuine troupe of street charlatans, and noblemen disguised as named healers, including two well-known quacks of the time, Mondor and Braguette. Drawing on English and Dutch images, and influences from London court masques and other European court festival, the Parisian stage, Spanish literature, and Italian commedia dell’arte, many previously disregarded in this context, this essay considers the itinerant charlatan, quack or street healer as a theme in early modern court festival, with particular reference to medical and theatrical influences on the stage names of the six courtiers of the 1638 tournament entry.


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