Court Masques of James I: Their Influence on Shakespeare, and the Public Theatres (Classic Reprint)by Mary Sullivan
This work was undertaken under the generous inspiration of Professor and Mrs. C. W. Wallace, whose accomplishments in Shakespearean research seem, to their co-workers, little less than marvellous. Though them came the impetus to work over the store of already examined
Excerpt from Court Masques of James I: Their Influence on Shakespeare, and the Public Theatres
This work was undertaken under the generous inspiration of Professor and Mrs. C. W. Wallace, whose accomplishments in Shakespearean research seem, to their co-workers, little less than marvellous. Though them came the impetus to work over the store of already examined material in the British Museum, together with some o the millions of unsearched documents in the Public Record Office and elsewhere. Very interesting it is to come upon the handwriting of Elizabeth, James I, and other members of royalty, nobility, ambassador, etc., found in letters and other documents. To lay hands, among these documents, on tangible things for specific helpfulness in particular plays is, however, not easy.
The masque is the form of Elizabeth dramatic literature upon which influences had most apparent effect. Although masques were given in private, they were the most public literary productions of their time, because they were the form of literature most closely associated with the public acts of royalty and of men who were in the popular eye. The political, social, industrial, and religious conditions influencing masques, and influenced in turn by them, offer a large field for investigation, and deserve no less than very extended treatment. It seemed well, then, to limit the present work to a consideration of those masques produced at the Court of King James, under influences connected with international questions.
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