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A cultural history of the early modern Lord Mayor’s Show, 1585-1639
Author: Tracey Hill

The London Lord Mayors' Shows were high-profile and lavish entertainments that were at the centre of the cultural life of the City of London in the early modern period. The Show was staged annually to celebrate the inauguration of the new Lord Mayor. The London mayoralty was not simply an entity of civic power, but always had its ritual and ceremonial dimensions. Pageantry was a feature of the day's entertainment. This book focuses on the social, cultural and economic contexts, in which the Shows were designed, presented and experienced, and explores the Shows in textual, historical, bibliographical, and archival and other contexts. It highlights the often-overlooked roles of the artificer and those other craftsmen who contributed so valuably to the day's entertainment. The Show was the concern of the Great Twelve livery companies from the ranks of one of which the Lord Mayor was elected. The book discusses, inter alia, the actors' roles, the props, music and costumes used during the Show and looks at how important emblems and imagery were to these productions. Pageant writers and artificers took advantage of the space available to them just as dramatists did on the professional stage. From 1585 onwards the Lord Mayor's Show was with increasing frequency transmitted from event to text in the form of short pamphlets produced in print runs ranging from 200 to 800 copies. The book also demonstrates the ways in which the Shows engaged with the changing socio-economic scene of London and with court and city politics.

Bringing the Shows to life
Tracey Hill

3 ‘A day of well Compos’d Variety of Speach and shew’: bringing the Shows to life Given their predominantly visual appeal to the original audiences it is perhaps surprising that relatively little attention has yet been paid within literary and historical scholarship to how the visual and aural spectacle of the Lord Mayors’ Shows would have been experienced on the day of the performance. This is partly down to the general dominance within literary scholarship of printed texts, and it is also, of course, due to the elusive nature of pageantry, which would seem

in Pageantry and power
Critical and historical contexts of the Lord Mayor’s Show
Tracey Hill

this book) was also the heyday of the early modern stage, when theatrical modes of celebration and entertainment were ubiquitous in the rapidly expanding city. I will address the lived experience of the Shows in more depth 2 Pageantry and power 1 The route of the Lord Mayor’s Show in the early modern period in Chapter 3, and will discuss the ways in which the ceremonial elements of the day developed over time further below, but it is worth providing at the outset a brief overview of the structure and content of a ‘typical’ Lord Mayor’s Day (one should note that

in Pageantry and power
The writers, the artificers and the livery companies
Tracey Hill

prioritise expenditure on the procession instead of the pageantry – clothing the ‘poor men’ as well as the mayoral party, for instance – and on forms of visual representations of their power and prestige such as decorated banners, streamers, ensigns and so on. Crucially, the livery company documents help to defamiliarise many preconceptions about authorship and collaboration in this period by revealing the ways in which civic pageantry was brought to life by writers working alongside the artificers and others about whom the printed works are often silent. In particular, as

in Pageantry and power
Political and contemporary contexts of the Shows
Tracey Hill

threats to the City’s peace and stability such as Envy or Ambition. In so doing, they inevitably engaged with political questions in the broadest sense. In this respect, as in others, they contrast to the royal masque, where, as Norbrook has argued, ‘overt religious imagery and overt political comment are kept under strict control’.2 The Shows also displayed the City’s sense of itself, often in implicit or, more rarely, explicit contrast to the values of the court. Mayoral pageantry was therefore a reflection of a civic culture grounded in the values of a local

in Pageantry and power
The Show from street to print
Tracey Hill

intended to represent . . . a possible Greek equivalent of “old drapery”, but the form “Poleos” points to confusion with . . . “of the city”’.9 Nevertheless, in the printed text the writer perforce becomes dominant, despite the conventional acknowledgements of the crucial input of the artificer (of whom 216 Pageantry and power more elsewhere). Most of the title pages thus refer to the text as having been ‘invented’ or ‘devised’ by the poet. Indeed, an often overlooked and perhaps unexpected difference between the printed Shows and the equivalent accounts of monarchical

in Pageantry and power
Open Access (free)
Unearthing the truth in Patrick O’Keeffe’s The Hill Road
Vivian Valvano Lynch

tried to woo her away from Jack’s father, and had lived to lament his failure. Within days, Jack’s mother is dead, and we are left wondering whether her final memories were true or merely the fantasies of a drifting mind. Because of a jarring ellipsis, he, and we, will never know. Particularly vivid at the novella’s close are the series of epiphanic moments that Jack experiences. A neosophisticate Dubliner now, Jack has come to look down on the old ways at his mother’s wake: She was gone. Her blood was. And all this pageantry. To have to endure it. Just so that others

in Irish literature since 1990
Open Access (free)
Elleke Boehmer

pertains whether we look at the arena of postcolonial national politics – at national pageantry, presidential cavalcades, garlanded grandstands – or, as in this book Stories of Women, within the somewhat more secluded spaces of national literatures and the writing of the nation. Gender, the nation and postcolonial narrative As in the cross-section of a tree trunk that is nowhere unmarked by its grain – by that pattern expressing its history – so, too, is the nation informed throughout by its gendered history, by the normative masculinities and femininities that have

in Stories of women
Gender and nationalism in the early fiction of Flora Nwapa
Elleke Boehmer

distinctions are not merely superficial. On the contrary, as in the chapter on Ngugi, nationalism, whether as ideology or as political movement, configures and consolidates itself through a variety of deeply embedded gender-specific structures. The idea of nationhood bears a masculine identity although some national ideals may wear a feminine face. Such gender tags are clearly illustrated, for example, in the iconographies the nation cherishes. In the literature, rhetoric and pageantry of nations, as in nationalist politics and political structures, it is a male figure who is

in Stories of women
Open Access (free)
John Lydgate’s ‘Soteltes for the coronation banquet of Henry VI’
Heather Blatt

the entremet, a much more dramatic spectacle than that accompanying subtleties in England (see Bridget Henisch, Fast and feast: food in medieval society [University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976], 229). 13 Critical consensus has not determined whether these subtleties were purely decorative or edible in nature; evidence suggests that some were both decorative and edible, while others only decorative. See, for instance, Anne Lancashire (London civic theatre: city drama and pageantry from Roman times to 1558 [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England