Category Archives: CMEMLL

CMEMLL Event: Francis Beaumont, The Masque of the Olympic Knights (1613)

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-18-23-19Rachel Horrocks and CMEMLL member Jane Pettegree are looking to gather people from the School of English postgraduate community and hopefully further afield for a workshop and partial reconstruction of a Jacobean period masque, with dancing and music, next semester.

The masque is Francis Beaumont’s The Masque of the Olympic Knights (1613) (also known as The Masque of the Inner Temple and Gray’s Inn), what might be termed an Inns of Court production.

Early opera developed alongside courtly entertainments called ‘masques’, which combined music, dancing, dramatic verse and spectacle. The Masque of the Olympic Knights was written to celebrate the marriage of the eldest daughter of King James VI/I in 1613/14, and would have involved both professional performers and leading members of the Jacobean court.

The aim of this event is to explore how it felt to take part in a masque, and for the public showcase, to be present at such a performance. Join us and become a Duke, Duchess or even a King for a day.  The dancing workshop will be led by Anne Daye, a leading UK expert in early dance, who lectures in historical dance at Laban, Trinity College of Music and RADA.  Anne is chair of HDS (the Historical Dance Society).  The event is supported by the HDS, the Music Centre and the School of English at the University of St Andrews.

A provisional timetable for the weekend is:

Dance Workshops

Friday 10 February, 19:00–21:00

Public Talk by Anne Daye

Saturday 11th February, 09:30–10:30

Dance Workshops

Saturday 11th February, 10:30–17:00

Public showcase

Saturday 11 February, 19:00 to 21:00

Venue

Younger Hall, North St, St Andrews

The public talk and showcase are both free and open-door events.

Workshop participation is free but spaces should be confirmed in advance.

To take part in the dance workshop : contact Rachel Horrocks, email rph2@st-andrews.ac.uk

To join our Jacobean dance band : contact Jane Pettegree, email jkp1@st-andrews.ac.uk

 

 

CMEMLL Reading Group: Futures of Law and Literature (II)

Monday 12 December, 4.00 – 5.00 pm
Syndicate Room, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge

The Reading Group will involve a brief introduction by Rachel Holmes and Andrew Zurcher followed by discussion on the theme of ‘Futures of Law and Literature’. Previous attendance at the CMEMLL Reading Group is not requisite to participation.

The background reading for our discussion comprises the following:

Grant Williams, ‘Law and the Production of Literature: An Introductory Perspective.’ In Donald Beecher et al, ed., Taking Exception to the Law: Materializing Injustice in Early Modern English Literature (University of Toronto Press, 2015), pp. 3–43.

 

CMEMLL Research Seminar: Hannah Worthen (Leicester/The National Archives)

Wednesday 30 November, 12.00 – 13.30 pm
GR03, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge

‘‘For the hazards of War are equall’: The Narratives of Royalist Widows in Print, Petitions and at Law during the Civil Wars’

Abstract

The infamous 1649 publication, Eikon Basilike, professed to be authored by Charles I, asked ‘what Widdowes or Orphans tears can witnesse against me, the just cry of which must now be avenged with My own bloud? For the hazards of War are equall, nor doth the Cannon know any respect of Persons’. The Civil Wars of 1642-1649 were brutal, and there had been a clamour to avenge the blood of the fallen with the execution of the King who was deemed by many to be responsible. Depictions of widows became part of the political discourse surrounding the wars: the desolate and suffering widows who epitomised the losses of England as well as the deviant widows who stepped beyond customary boundaries during those turbulent times.

During the Civil Wars and Interregnum Parliament seized the lands of Royalists in order to fund their war effort. Consequently, many widows who had been deemed to be ‘delinquent’ turned to petitions and the legal process in order to protect their family’s landed interests. These women had lost husbands and sons to the war but were not viewed as blameless victims by the Parliamentarian authorities. This paper will examine the petitions and legal challenges submitted by these Royalist widows and look to the ways in which they described their suffering and, therefore, drew upon wider narratives of the losses of widows during this period.

The discussion will examine the intersection between legal texts, petitions and print discourse in order to analyse the experience of Royalist widows who sought to defend their lands. By drawing upon narratives of loss, poverty and the universal suffering of war time, many of these widows were able to successfully navigate political and legal processes and regain the property and status that the wars had cost them.

Organised jointly with the Early Modern Interdisciplinary Seminar.


Hannah Worthen is a final-year PhD student researching at The University of Leicester in collaboration with The National Archives.

CMEMLL Research Seminar: Jackie Watson (Oxford Spires Academy/Birkbeck)

Tuesday 15 November, 5.45 – 7.00 pm
Gatsby Room, Chancellor’s Centre, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge

‘[T]hough Ramme stinks with cookes and ale,/ Yet say thers many a worthy lawyers chamber,/ Buts vpon Rame-Alley’: An Innsman Goes to the Playhouse’

Abstract

Combining ideas of early modern sense perception with research on the Inns of Court, London topography and theatre history, this paper is an experimental journey to a performance of Lording Barry’s ‘Ram Alley’ at nearby Whitefriars. It considers the sensory interactions between audience and dramatic locations: playing space, imaginative locus and surrounding city.

This paper brings the two areas of research together, and builds on Jackie Watson’s recent article on the nearby Ram Alley for the Map of Early Modern London. It imagines a day in 1607, or perhaps 1608. An Innsman – call him Francis, for sake of argument – leaves his lodgings in Middle Temple to visit the nearby Whitefriars Theatre, where Lording Barry’s Ram Alley is being performed by the Children of the King’s Revels. Using ideas from performance and theatre history, London topography and audience studies, as well as work on the Inns as sites of social mobility, legal and wider learning, and homosocial networks, my paper will reconstruct likely elements of Francis’ journey and his experience of this particular play.

In the quotation from the Induction to Every Man Out of his Humour which forms the title of this paper, Ben Jonson’s language plays with the conjunction of hearing, tasting and understanding. Barry may not have had such lofty ambitions for his comedy, but in its intertextuality, its precise location and its evocation of the early modern legal world, it aims directly to play with the familiarities and to engage the senses of ‘Francis’ and his fellows.

Organised jointly with the Wolfson College Humanities Society.


Jackie Watson completed her PhD at Birkbeck College, London, in 2015, with a thesis looking at the life of the Jacobean courtier, Sir Thomas Overbury, and examining the representations of courtiership on stage between 1599 and 1613. She is co-editor of The Senses in Early Modern England, 1558–1660 (Manchester University Press, 2015), to which she contributed a chapter on the deceptive nature of sight.

Recent published articles have looked at the early modern Inns of Court, at Innsmen as segments of playhouse audiences and at London topography.  She is currently working on a monograph with a focus on Overbury’s letters, courtiership and the Jacobean playhouse.

CMEMLL Reading Group: Futures of Law and Literature (i)

Monday 24 October, 4.00 – 5.00 pm
Erasmus Room, Queens’ College, University of Cambridge

This year the St Andrews Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature (CMEMLL) becomes a collaborative forum between St Andrews, Oxford, and Cambridge, with Law and Literature events continuing at St Andrews under the auspices of the Institute for Legal and Constitutional Research.

This year’s theme is ‘Futures of Law and Literature’. The full schedule of these sessions and other CMEMLL events can be found here:

http://cmemll.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/events/201617-2/.

The Reading Group will involve a brief introduction by Rachel Holmes and Andrew Zurcher followed by discussion on the theme of ‘Futures of Law and Literature’.

The background reading for our discussion comprises the following two articles:

Bernadette Meyler, ‘Law, Literature, and History: The Love Triangle.’ UC Irvine Law Review 365 (2015).

Greta Olson, ‘Futures of Law and Literature: A Preliminary Overview from a Culturalist Perspective.’ Law and Literature In-Between: Contemporary Inter- and Transdisciplinary Approaches, ed. Christian Hiebaum, Susanne Knaller, Doris Pichler (Bielefeld: transcript, 2015. 37-69).