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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the entertainment during Queen Elizabeth I's visit to the royal manor of Woodstock in 1575. The Woodstock entertainment's text is one of the first surviving accounts about the Queen's reception by a private host in a garden. The atmosphere of the al fresco staging contributed to the development of the thematic innovations in which classical imagery was moulded with native romance, the masquing tradition with dramatic performance, and dumb show with elaborate speech. The major dramatic element of the occasion was the Queen's presence: her role as recipient of and participant in the shows, her readiness to take part in the celebrations and don the theatrical role assigned to her. She was audience and actress in a drama created for her by courtiers, poets, and all who contributed to the invention of the multi-faceted entertainments.

Keywords: Queen Elizabeth I, Woodstock, royal manor, reception

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