In the first half of the twentieth century, many writers and artists turnedto the art and received example of the Elizabethans as a means ofarticulating an emphatic (and anti-Victorian) modernity. By the middleof that century, this cultural neo-Elizabethanism had become absorbedwithin a broader mainstream discourse of national identity, heritage andcultural performance. Taking strength from the Coronation of a new, youngQueen named Elizabeth, the New Elizabethanism of the 1950s heralded anation that would now see its 'modern', televised monarch preside over animminently glorious and artistic age.This book provides the first in-depth investigation of New Elizabethanismand its legacy. With contributions from leading cultural practitioners andscholars, its essays explore New Elizabethanism as variously manifestin ballet and opera, the Coronation broadcast and festivities, nationalhistoriography and myth, the idea of the 'Young Elizabethan', celebrations ofair travel and new technologies, and the New Shakespeareanism of theatreand television. As these essays expose, New Elizabethanism was muchmore than a brief moment of optimistic hyperbole.
Indeed, from moderndrama and film to the reinternment of Richard III, from the London Olympicsto the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, it continues to pervade contemporaryartistic expression, politics, and key moments of national pageantry.
Irene Morra is Reader in English Literature at Cardiff University. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and is the author of Britishness, Popular Music, and National Identity: The Making of Modern Britain and Twentieth-Century British Authors and the Rise of Opera in Britain.Rob Gossedge is Lecturer in English Literature at Cardiff University. He holds a PhD from Cardiff University and is the author of Arthurian Literary Production in Britain, 1800-2000.
Introduction by Irene Morra and Rob GossedgePART I. ORIGINS AND LEGACIES1. New Elizabethanism: Origins, Legacies and the Theatre of Nation by Irene Morra PART II. A FAMILY OF NATIONS2. The 'New' Elizabeth and Scotland: The Royal Style and the British Constitution by Kelly DeLuca3. Wales and the Crown: Coronation, Investiture and Jubilee, 1953-2012 by Rob Gossedge 4. The Elective Affinity of the New Elizabethan nation by Arthur AugheyPART III. CULTURAL MEMORY5. The Enduring Nature of Cultural Memory by Paul Stevens6. Dreaming the Commonwealth: King Arthur and Byzantium, 1938-1953 by Rob Gossedge 7. Postwar Revival: Elizabethan Medievalism at Mid-Century by Ayla Lepine PART IV. ELIZABETHANS YOUNG AND NEW8. The Arts Council and the Young Elizabethans by Tony Coult)9. Young Elizabethans, Young Readers and an Incomplete Vision by Helen Phillips10. The New Elizabethan Soundtrack by Stephen Banfield11. From Brabazons to Quatermass: New Elizabethans in Air and Space by Tony Coult 12. English Ballet: A National Art for the New Elizabethan Moment by Melanie BigoldPART V. SHAKESPEARE, SPECTACLE AND SOCIETY13. 'A Profound Commentary on Kingship': The Monarchy and Shakespeare's Histories on Television, 1957-1965 by John Wyver14. A Case Study: the Future of Big Brum Theatre-in-Education Company by Edward Bond15. 'Not a History Workshop Vision': Frank Cottrell Boyce on the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. In conversation with Scott Anthony16. History Play: People, Pageant and the New Shakespearean Age by Irene MorraAfterword - 'Happiness' by Edward Bond