The coronation was, and perhaps still is, one of the most important ceremonies of a monarch's reign. This book examines the five coronations that took place in England between 1509 and 1559. It considers how the sacred rite and its related ceremonies and pageants responded to monarchical and religious change, and charts how they were interpreted by contemporary observers. Hunt challenges the popular position that has conflated royal ceremony with political propaganda and argues for a deeper understanding of the symbolic complexity of ceremony. At the heart of the study is an investigation into the vexed issues of legitimacy and representation which leads Hunt to identify the emergence of an important and fruitful exchange between ceremony and drama. This exchange will have significant implications for our understanding both of the period's theatre and of the cultural effects of the Protestant Reformation.
• Provides insights into one of the longest-lasting and most important English royal ceremonies • Serves as a useful guide to early Tudor drama and its responses to religious monarchical change • Familiarises readers with other cultural forms of the period, tracing important links between ceremony and theatre
Introduction: The 'idol' ceremony of coronation; 1. Why crown a King?: Henry VIII and the medieval coronation; 2. 'Come my love thou shalbe crowned': the drama of Anne Boleyn's coronation; 3. 'But a ceremony': Edward VI's reformed coronation and John Bale's King Johan; 4. 'He hath sent Marye our soveraigne and Quene': England's first Queen and Respublica; 5. 'A stage wherin was shewed the wonderfull spectacle': representing Elizabeth I's coronation; Epilogue: 'Presume not that I am the thing I was'.
'Alice Hunt's first monograph is an engrossing and superbly written account of the sixteenth-century Tudor coronation ceremony.' Modern Language Review