Shows and Pageants

Elizabeth Goldring and Jayne Elisabeth Archer

in The Oxford Handbook of Holinshed's Chronicles

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199565757
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Shows and Pageants

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  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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This chapter examines the treatment and function of selected pageant texts in the Elizabethan portion of the Chronicles and assesses the volumes as sources for this rather nebulous genre. The first part provides an overview of the presentation of shows and pageants in the 1577 and 1587 Chronicles, focusing on the Elizabethan period. The second part presents case studies, each examining the presentation in the ‘Continuation’ of specific shows and pageants of the Elizabethan era. It considers the contributors' treatment of their sources, along with evidence of editorial omissions – intentional, enforced, and accidental – and bias, as well as castrations and alterations made in response to the Privy Council's order that the second edition be recalled and reformed. Finally, some conclusions about the Chronicles as sources for studies of Elizabethan pageantry are offered.

Keywords: Elizabethan period; Chronicles; pageantry; shows

Article.  8275 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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