Where was the chair of Mary Queen of Scots placed for her trial? How was Smithfield set up for public executions? How many paces did the King walk forward to meet a visiting ambassador in the Presence Chamber at Greenwich? How were spectators arranged at tournaments? And why did any of this matter? Janette Dillon adds a new dimension to work on space and theatricality by providing a comparative analysis of a range of spectacular historical events. She investigates in detail the claim that early modern court culture was always inherently performative, demonstrating how every kind of performance was shaped by its own space and place. Using a range of evidence, visual as well as verbal, and illustrated with some unfamiliar as well as better known images, Dillon leads the reader to general principles and conclusions via a range of minutely observed case studies.
Janette Dillon is Professor of Drama at the University of Nottingham. Her books include Language and Stage in Medieval and Renaissance England (1998), Theatre, Court and City 1595-1610 (2000), Performance and Spectacle in Hall's Chronicle (2002), The Cambridge Introduction to Early English Theatre (2006) and The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare's Tragedies (2007). She has also revised the Penguin editions of Much Ado About Nothing and All's Well That Ends Well and has published a wide range of articles on Shakespeare and early drama, as well as work on non-dramatic literature.
Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Royal entries and coronations; 3. Royal progress; 4. Meetings with ambassadors; 5. Court revels; 6. Tournaments; 7. Trials; 8. Executions; Works cited.