The masque of Stuart culture /
Jerzy Limon.
Newark : University of Delaware Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c1990.
236 p.
0874133963 (alk. paper)
More Details
Newark : University of Delaware Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c1990.
0874133963 (alk. paper)
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. [217]-229.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1991-05:
In six discussions, Jerzy Limon (University of Gdansk) elaborates his opening proposition that Stuart court masques existed in three forms: the dramatic masque "projected its own staging" in preperformance manuscripts and became the basis of the actual masque-in-performance. The literary masque "preserved" either of these forms (actually discrete genres) in manuscript or in print. The "masque-in-performance" may be seen as a " theatrical equivalent of a book of emblems" as well as a mirror of ritualized courtly behavior. Limon examines the place of the masque within the larger context of courtly "festivals" employing other forms of representation; his closing chapters study in detail the cycles of masques employed at two noble marriages. Limon builds effectively upon the work of previous students of the masque such as Orgel, Strong, and Meagher, but extends their analyses with elaborate distinctions among masque forms and implications for their meaning within a courtly context. Disdaining popular historicist and political approaches, he advances convincing arguments for the numerous levels of meaning inhering in each of the forms he defines, and he calls on semiotics to illuminate the masque as emblem of Stuart culture in which the monarch was icon of order and wisdom. Limon does cite John G. Demaray's Milton and the Masque Tradition (CH, Oct'68), but his failure to even mention Comus--despite the fact that it was not performed at court, but for the Earl of Bridgewater--is a puzzling omission in a study of the Stuart masque. Likewise, the masquing at the Inns of Court deserves notice as part of the theatrical milieu known to the courtly coterie. Suitable for graduates and advanced undergraduates. Full notes; excellent bibliography; index. -C. Baker, Lamar University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1991
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Unpaid Annotation
Limon presents an unconventional approach to the Stuart masque, discussing the masque as a form of courtly ritual rather than a truly theatrical performance. As seen from this perspective, the masque is the deepest, most complex, and many-faceted reflection of early Stuart culture.

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