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Drama, politics, and news in the Earl of Sussex's entertainment of Elizabeth at New Hall, 1579

Younger, Neil (2015). Drama, politics, and news in the Earl of Sussex's entertainment of Elizabeth at New Hall, 1579. The Historical Journal, 58(2) pp. 343–366.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X14000715
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Abstract

In September 1579, at the height of an intense political debate over her prospective marriage to the duke of Anjou, Elizabeth I visited New Hall, the country seat of the match’s greatest supporter within England, Thomas Radcliffe, third earl of Sussex. Her entertainment on that occasion, hitherto completely unknown, was described in a letter, printed here, from one Norfolk gentleman, Sir Edward Clere, to another, Bassingbourne Gawdy. The letter describes the dramatic performances and other entertainments provided for the queen, which included coded but unmistakeable encouragements for her to proceed with the marriage. This article discusses the ways in which this was done and their consequences for our knowledge of the Anjou marriage debate as a political episode, suggesting that Sussex sought to use the entertainment to boost the participation of more conservative members of the nobility in government. It also explores how this evidence affects our picture of Elizabethan courtly entertainments, and particularly their non-dramatic elements. Finally, it discusses Clere’s letter itself as an insight into the nature of gentry news culture, particularly with regard to matters of high politics.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0018-246X
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > History
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
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Item ID: 43542
Depositing User: Neil Younger
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2015 15:54
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2019 04:41
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/43542
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