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  • ISSN: 0960-1163 (Print), 1478-5110 (Online)
  • Editors: Professor Andrew Spicer Oxford Brookes University, UK and Professor Richard Toye University of Exeter, UK
  • Editorial board
The Royal Historical Society (and its predecessor body, the Camden Society) has since 1838 published editions of sources on British History. The publication is ongoing (two volumes per annum) and is now published in association with Cambridge University Press. Almost the entire archive is now available through Cambridge Journals Online. Go to entry for Royal Society Transactions to see full details

VOLUME 54. HENRY PIERS'S CONTINENTAL TRAVELS, 1595–1598

The text, published here for the first time, is a significant addition to Elizabethan travel writing and religious autobiography. It describes a journey in 1595 to Rome through the Low Countries, Germany and Italy.  The author describes life in Rome (1595-7) which included an encounter with the Inquisition; his work is unusual among contemporary memoirs by also including an account of his subsequent sojourn in Spain in 1598. Affording a rare lay perspective on conversion to Catholicism, its value is heightened by the author’s origins in Ireland and connections in England, thus illuminating a recusant community which straddled both realms. As an eye-witness, the author offers fresh and individual insights on the Elizabethan Catholic diaspora in Rome and Spain during the turbulent decade of the 1590s.


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  • This blog accomapnies Louise Stewart’s Historical Journal article ‘Social Status and Classicism in the Visual and Material Culture of the Sweet Today, the term ‘banquet’ is commonly used to refer to any lavish feast.  However, in the Tudor and Stuart period the word had a different, and very specific meaning, referring to a separate meal which consisted solely of sweet foods.  In September 1591, for example, Queen Elizabeth I visited the Earl of Hertford at his estate at Elvetham.  The lavish entertainments provided for the queen during her four day stay included water pageants, fireworks, feasts and a glittering ‘banquet’.  A printed account of the entertainment makes it clear that this banquet was no ordinary meal.  It was served in the garden after supper, ‘all in glass and silver’ and accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display.  The queen was presented with a thousand sweet dishes including sculptural sugar work representing her arms, castles and forts, human figures and mythical and exotic animals as well as preserved fruits and other confections.  This elaborate spectacle was typical of the sweet banquet.…...
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