Pageants and Propaganda

Janette Dillon

in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199205882
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Pageants and Propaganda

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Queen Elizabeth's summer progresses provided a regular occasion for ceremony and entertainment. They presented an opportunity for the Queen to interact publicly with her subjects, from the chosen host, his household, and the travelling court to the wider public who might attend or participate in certain elements of the entertainment; and the publication of pamphlets recounting the events was a way of representing that interaction to an even wider public. The visit to the Earl of Leicester at Kenilworth on the summer progress of 1575, however, was unusual in two ways. First, its extended duration and magnificence were unmatched by any of Elizabeth's progresses before or after it; and secondly, two printed accounts of it are extant, a situation which allows comparison between two different ways of representing the progress to different audiences. The more straightforward of the two accounts was written by George Gascoigne and printed as The Princely Pleasures at the Court at Kenilworth in 1576. The second account, whose full title is A Letter: Wherein, part of the entertainment unto the Queen's Majesty, at Kenilworth Castle, in Warwickshire, in this summer's progress, 1575, is signified: from a friend officer attendant in court, unto his friend a citizen, and merchant of London, was published anonymously, with no publisher's name or date, in 1575, but names its author within the text by variants of the formulae R. L. and Robert Langham, or Laneham.

Keywords: Queen Elizabeth; Earl of Leicester; summer progress; George Gascoigne; Kenilworth Castle

Article.  7652 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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