This collaborative, interdisciplinary study explores a variety of issues in theatrical and literary history that converge in two performances given at the palace of Fontainebleau on 13 February 1564. Part of the fabled FÃªtes de Fontainebleau, this carnival Sunday entertainment was produced at the behest of Catherine de Médicis and created by courtiers and artists including Pierre de Ronsard, the greatest lyric poet of the French sixteenth century. While focused on the text and production of Ronsard's Bergerie and the choice and production of the tale of Ginevra from Ariosto's Orlando furioso, the study also examines the urgent circumstances of the festival - the moment, shortly after the end of the First War of Religion, was critical and highly charged - as well as its political program and the rhetorical strategies employed by Catherine and Ronsard to promote harmony among the opposing factions of nobles. The authors' exploration of the Queen's Day also leads them to consider a range of questions pertaining to Renaissance and early modern court performance practices and literary-cultural traditions. The book is distinctive in that it crosses disciplinary and national boundaries, and in that a number of the issues it addresses have received little or no previous scholarly attention.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Setting the scene; The prince of poets and the Medici queen; Carlin the shepherd-king: pastoral at Fontainebleau; Performing bergerie; Ronsard, Ariosto and a Scottish Princess: 'La Belle Genièvre'; 'Une Autre Polynesse'; Conclusion; Postscript; Notes; Works consulted; Index.
'This book is remarkable in the way an isolated and specific moment is explored to expose rich political and cultural reverberations which stretch out across Europe, before and after the event ... This refreshing reappraisal of the royal policy of moderation and toleration binds together all the works created for Fontainebleau. Scott and Sturm-Maddox’s conclusion is both unexpected and original.' Margaret M. McGowan, CBE, University of Sussex, UK