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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Jeffrey Hudson was one of the most popular performers in the court masques during the reign of Charles I. Supported by Queen Henrietta Maria, he performed in the masques of Ben Jonson, Aurelian Townshend, and William Davenant. Usually featured in the antimasques, he also danced in scenes with aristocratic and royal performers, including the king and queen. Because of his fame at court, he is featured in several paintings, etchings, and drawings from the era, including works by Inigo Jones, Daniel Mytens, and Anthony Van Dyck. Many documents feature his activities beyond the stage, including a mission to France for the queen, his capture and release by Flemish pirates, a daring escape to France with the queen in 1644, a duel on horseback, and his capture by Barbary Corsairs in North Africa. And yet, Hudson remains almost invisible in our histories of theater and dance. Why have we ignored him?

Keywords: Jeffrey Hudson, masque, antimasque, Charles I, Henrietta Maria, disability studies

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