The Court as a Stage: England and the Low Countries in the Later Middle Ages

February 2006
4 line illustrations
216 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843831914
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press

The Court as a Stage: England and the Low Countries in the Later Middle Ages

Edited by Steven Gunn, Antheun Janse

European and English courtly culture and history reappraised through the prism of the court as theatre.
In the past half-century, court history has lost the air of frivolity that once relegated it to the margins of serious historical study and has rightfully taken a central part in the study of European states and societies in the age of personal monarchy. Yet it has been approached from so many different angles and appropriated to so many different models that it can be hard to put all our new understandings together to achieve a proper perspective on the functions of the court as a whole. This collection of essays uses the idea of the court as a stage for social and political interaction to re-integrate different styles of court history, focusing on courts in England and the Low Countries from the age of Richard II and Albert of Bavaria to that of Elizabeth I and Philip II. Themes studied include the relationship between court politics and cultural change, the social and political functions of court office-holding, the military, judicial and propagandist roles of the court, the economic relationships between courts and cities and the wider social and political significance of court rituals and traditions.

Table of Contents

Introduction: New Histories of the Court - Steven Gunn and Antheun Janse
Ritual, Ceremony and the `Civilising Process': The Role of the Court, c.1270-1400 - Malcolm Vale
Corruption at Court? Crisis and the Theme of luxuria in England and France, c.1340-1422 - C. D. Fletcher
Patterns in Patronage: Distinction and Imitation in the Patronage of Painted Art by Burgundian Courtiers in the Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuriesand Early Sixteenth Centuries - Hanno Wijsman
The Nerve Centre of Political Networks? The Burgundian Court and the Integration of Holland and Zeeland into the Burgundian State, 1425-14771425-1477 - Mario Damen
Appointment Strategies at the Court of Duke Philip the Good: New Applications of Old Mechanisms - Hanno Brand
For Mutual Benefit? Court and City in the Burgundian Low Countries - Peter Stabel
Memoirs and the Self-Consciousness of the Court: the Birth of a Genre - D A L Morgan
The Court of Henry VII - Steven Gunn
The Court, War and Noble Power in England, c.1475-1558 - David Grummitt
The Burgundian-Habsburg Court as a Military Institution from Charles the Bold to Philip II - Hans Cools
Cultural Life and the Exercise of Power at the Residences of Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, 1512-1580 - Andrew Boyle
Court Life in Early Modern Vienna and Versailles: Discourse versus Practice - Jeroen Duindam


presents a direct, refreshing and thought-provoking approach to the subject. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
An unusually coherent collection and one that builds a bridge between English and Dutch scholarship. THE RICARDIAN Will do much to illuminate our study of the social and political contexts of the dramatic and ceremonial culture of these late medieval courts. YEAR'S WORK IN ENGLISH STUDIES

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