This book presents a biography of the poetics and politics of London in 1613, from Whitehall to Guildhall, that is, Shakespeare's London. It examines major events at court, such as the untimely death of Prince Henry and its aftermath, and the extravagant wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Frederick of Germany and her journey to the Continent. The city flourished with scores of publications on a vast array of topics, including poetry, travel narratives, music, and, of course, plays. The book offers summaries and analyses of most of these texts, knowing that some of them may not be well-known to all readers. Many of these publications had a kind of link to the court. In order to understand the context of the year 1613, the book actually begins in October 1612 with Prince Henry's illness and death in November, which had a major impact on what happened in 1613. It proceeds more or less chronologically from this event to Princess Elizabeth's wedding and the stunning array of dramatic performances at court, and includes the journey to her new home in Germany. As part of the year's cultural nexus, the narrative reaches into the Guildhall experience to explore the riches of the books that emanated from London's printers and to examine specifically the drama performed or published in 1613. The final major focus centres on the Carr-Howard wedding at the year's end, full of cultural activities and ripe with political significance.
prowess in battle to his generosity to
minstrels to his hospitality to his own household, Degrevant is in fact a
worthy custodian of his new family’s line. Their extravagantwedding,
attended by Emperors, cardinals, the douze peers of France, the King
of Portugal, et al., advances the message of the plot: men of wealth and
gentility deserve access to the highest class, but only their own fiercest
exertions will enable them to rise in a world where great magnates
have the power to ride roughshod over such aspirations.
Love does in the romance what royal authority was
come together here; to correct one, Berthon must deal with the rest.
His approval of the Jodhpur position is worth noting, because Pertab’s unconventional
asceticism clashed with a larger cultural expectation of extravagantweddings 167 and with Ranjitsinhji’s desire
to spend. This aligned Pertab with the British in more ways than one. It put him on the side
of those who articulated a general discomfort with extravagant Rajput weddings, and who
associated these expenses with a range of much deeper moral problems in Rajput society
minor prince and
insufficiently powerful for her daughter; further, Anne truly desired a
Catholic prince for Elizabeth. Eventually Anne would come round,
accepting Frederick, at least on some level. The Scots had also hoped
that Elizabeth would marry one of their nobles, especially in light of
Henry’s death. But after 27 December, only the official
extravagantwedding ceremony remained to secure the
sweet body fit for life, / And love, and pleasure, and the ruddy strife / Of hearts and lips! Ah, miserable me!’ (I:38–41). Lamia is alone in setting the narrative in a peopled context, suggesting a need for company that Siddal’s characters do not share; even in The Eve of St Agnes the revellers are kept at a distance from the main protagonists. By contrast the streets of Corinth are teeming with life (I:350–61) and the extravagantwedding feast with its ‘herd’ of guests (II:150) is richly described. The Corinthian setting and the focus on Lamia herself within it