Masques, Measures, and Inns of Court

Note: For additional masque studies, see the “Selective guide to further reading and resources” in Richard Dutton’s “The Masque” in Teaching Shakespeare and Early Modern Dramatists, edited by A. Hiscock and L. Hopkins (Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2007).


Jonson, Ben, and Inigo Jones. Masque of Queens, directed by Emma Whipday, choreography by Mary Collins, physical theatre by Asia Osborne, historical consultation by Barbara Ravelhofer and Simon Smith, produced by Rev. Erica Longfellow, Daniel Starza Smith, and Nadine Akkerman. Performed August 11, 2016 at New College Chapel, Oxford, UK. Dances include Caroso’s “Il Canario” and “Contrapasso Nuovo,” Cesare Negri’s “Leggiadra Marina,” and new choreographies using the extant music from The Masque of Oberon, as well as Robert Jonson’s “First Witches’ Dance”.
Performance:; program notes:


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Dutton, Richard. Jacobean and Caroline Masques. 1981, 2 vols.

Jonson, Ben. The Complete Masques, ed. Stephen Orgel. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969. (The Yale Ben Jonson, vol. IV.)

Lindley, David. Court Masques: Jacobean and Caroline Entertainments 1605-1640. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Orgel, Stephen, and Roy Strong. Inigo Jones: The Theatre of the Stuart Court. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973. 2 vols.

Sabol, Andrew J., ed. Four Hundred Songs and Dances from the Stuart Masque. Brown University Press, 1982.

_____, ed. Songs and Dances from the Stuart Masque. An Edition of Sixty-Three Items of Music for the English Court Masque from 1604 to 1641. Brown University Press, 1959.

Spencer, T. J. B., and Stanley Wells, eds. A Book of Masques in Honour of Allardyce Nicoll. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967.


Andrea, Bernadette. “Black Skin, the Queen’s Masques: Africanist Ambivalence and Feminine Author(ity) in the Masques of Blackness and Beauty.” English Literary Renaissance 29, no. 2 (1999): 246–81.

Anglo, Sydney. Spectacle, Pageantry, and Early Tudor Policy. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969.

Assand, Hardin. “‘To blanch an Ethiop, and revive a corse’: Queen Anne and The Masque of Blackness.” Studies in English Literature 32, no. 2 (1992): 271–95.

Barbour, Richmond. “Britain and the Great Beyond: The Masque of Blackness at Whitehall.” Playing the Globe: Genre and Geography in English Renaissance Drama, ed. John Gillies and Virginia Mason Vaughan, pp. 129–53. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; London: Associated University Presses, 1998.

Barroll, Leeds. “Theatre as Text: the Case of Queen Anna and the Jacobean Court Masque.” The Elizabethan Theatre XIV, ed. A. L. Magnusson and C. E. McGee, pp. 175–93. Toronto: Meany, 1996.

Beemer, Suzy. “Masks of Blackness, Masks of Whiteness: Coloring the (Sexual) Subject in Jonson, Cary, and Fletcher.” Thamyris 4, no. 2 (1997): 223–47.

Bergeron, David, ed. Pageantry in the Shakespearean Theater. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1985.

_____. “Pageants, Masques, and History.” The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s History Plays, ed. Michael Hattaway, pp. 41–56. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Bevington, David, and Peter Holbrook, eds. The Politics of the Stuart Court Masque. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Boehrer, Bruce Thomas. “Great Prince’s Donatives: MTV Video and the Jacobean Court Masque.” Studies in Popular Culture 11, no. 2 (1988): 1–21.

Brown, Cedric. John Milton’s Aristocratic Entertainments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Burley, Anne. “Courtly Personages: the Lady Masquers in Ben Jonson’s Masque of Blackness.” Shakespeare and Renaissance Association of West Virginia—Selected Papers 10 (1985): 49–61.

Butler, Martin. “Ben Jonson’s Pan’s Anniversary and the Politics of Early Stuart Pastoral.” English Literary Renaissance 22, no. 3 (1992): 369–404.

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_____, and Lindley, David. “Restoring Astraea: Jonson’s Masque for the Fall of Somerset.” English Literary History 61, no. 4 (1994): 807–27.

Chan, Mary. Music in the Theatre of Ben Jonson. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980.

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Cunningham, James. Dancing in the Inns of Court. London: Jordan & Sons, Ltd., 1965.

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_____. “The Jacobean Antimasque within the Masque Context: a Dance Perspective.” PhD diss., Roehampton University, 2008.

_____. “‘The power of his commanding trident’: Tethys Festival as royal policy.” Historical Dance 4, no. 2 (2012): 19-28.

_____. “The Role of Le Balet Comique in Forging the Stuart Masque: Part 1 The Jacobean Initiative.” Dance Research 32, no. 2 (2014): 185-207.

_____. “The Role of Le Balet Comique in Forging the Stuart Masque: Part 2 Continuation.” Dance Research 33, no. 1 (2015): 50-69.

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_____. “‘Youthful Revels, Masks, and Courtly Sights’: An introductory study of the revels within the Stuart masque.” Historical Dance 3, no. 4 (1996): 5-22.

Demaray, John G. Milton and the Masque Tradition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968.

Diekhoff, John S., ed. A Maske at Ludlow. Cleveland: Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1968.

Dillon, Janette. “From Revels to Revelation: Shakespeare and the Mask” Shakespeare Survey 60 (2007): 58-71.

Durham, Janelle, and Peter Durham. “Dances from the Inns of Court.” Printed privately, 1997.

Ewbank, Inga-Stina. “‘The Eloquence of Masques’: A Retrospective View of Masque Criticism.” In Renaissance Drama: Essays Principally on Masques and Entertainments, edited by Samuel Schoenbaum, pp. 307-327. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1968.

Gilman, Ernest B. “‘All eyes’: Prospero’s Inverted Masque.” Renaissance Quarterly 33, no. 2 (1980): 214–30.

Gossett, Suzanne “‘Man-maid, begone!’: Women in Masques.” English Literary Renaissance 18, no. 1 (1988): 96-113.

_____. “Recent Studies in the English Masque.” English Literary Renaissance 26, no. 3 (1996): 586-627.

Gough, Melinda. “Courtly comédiantes: Henrietta Maria and amateur women’s stage plays in France and England.” In Women Players in Early Modern England, 1500-1660: Beyond the ‘all-male stage’, ed. Pamela Allen Brown and Peter Parolin, pp. 193-215. Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2005.

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_____. “Jonson’s Siren Stage.” Studies in Philology XCVI, no. 1 (Winter 1999): 68-95.

_____. “A newly discovered performance by Henrietta Maria.” Huntington Library Quarterly 65, no. 3 & 4 (2002): 435-437.

_____. “‘Not as myself’: the Queen’s Voice in Tempe Restored.” Modern Philology 101.1 (August 2003): 48-67.

_____. “Queens and the International Transmission of Political Culture,” co-authored with Malcolm Smuts. The Court Historian 10, no. 1 (2005): 1-13.

Hall, Kim F. “Sexual Politics and Cultural Identity in The Masque of Blackness.” Critical Essays on Ben Jonson, ed. Robert N. Watson, pp. 237–49. New York: G. K. Hall; London, Prentice Hall, 1997.

Howard, Skiles. “‘Ascending the Riche Mount’: Performing Hierarchy and Gender in the Henrician Masque.” In Rethinking the Henrician Era: Essays on Early Tudor Texts and Contexts, edited by Peter C. Herman, pp. 16-39. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1994.

Hoxby, Blair. “The Wisdom of Their Feet: Meaningful Dance in Milton and the Stuart Masque.” English Literary Renaissance 37, no. 1 (2007): 74-99.

Hudler, Melissa. “Dance: The Speaking Body in Jonson’s ‘Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue.’” Ben Jonson Journal 14.2 (2007): 173-91.

Hunter, W. B. Milton’s Comus: Family Piece. New York: Whitston Publishing Co., 1983.

Ingram, Randall. “Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue: Introducing Undergraduates to Stuart Masques and Enjoying It.” Approaches to Teaching English Renaissance Drama, ed. Karen Bamford and Alexander Leggatt, pp. 180–185. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2002.

Jackson, Simon. “The Visual Music of the Masque and George Herbert’s Temple.” English Literary Renaissance 45, no. 3 (2015): 377-399.

Judge, Roy. “The ‘country dancers’ in the Cambridge Comus of 1908.” Folklore 110 (1999): 25-38.

Knowles, James D. “Masques in the 1619–20 Season.” Notes & Queries 39, no. 3/237 (1992): 369–70.

_____. “Insubstantial Pageants: The Tempest and Masquing Culture.” Shakespeare’s Late plays: New Readings, ed. Jennifer Richards and James Knowles, pp. 108–25. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999.

Lanier, Douglas. “Fertile Visions: Jacobean Revels and the Erotics of Occasion.” Studies in English Literature 39, 2 (Spring 1999): 327–56.

_____. “‘Tied / To Rules of Flattery?’: Court Drama and the Masque.” A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, ed. Michael Hattaway, pp. 525–44. Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2000.

Levin, Kate D. “Coming of Age on Stage: The Pedagogical Masque in Seventeenth-Century England.” George Herbert Journal 29, no. 1/2 (2005/2006): 114-130.

Lewalski, Barbara Kiefer. “Enacting Opposition: Queen Anne and the Subversions of Masquing.” Writing Women in Jacobean England. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.

Limon, Jerzy. The Masque of Stuart Culture. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1990.

_____. “The Masque of Stuart Culture.” The Mental World of the Jacobean Court, ed. Linda Levy Peck, pp. 209–29. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Lindley, David, ed. The Court Masque. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984.

_____. “Courtly Play: the Politics of Chapman’s The Memorable Masque.” The Stuart Courts, ed. Eveline Cruickshanks, pp. 43–58. Stroud: Sutton, 2000.

_____. “Embarrassing Ben: the Masques for Frances Howard.” English Literary History 16, no. 2 (Spring 1986): 343–59.

MacIntyre, Jean. “Prince Henry’s Satyrs: Topicality in Jonson’s Oberon.” A Search for Meaning: Critical Essays on Early Modern Literature, ed. Paula Harms Payne, pp. 95–104. New York: Peter Lang, 2004.

_____. “Queen Elizabeth’s Ghost at the Court of James I: The Masque of Blackness, Lord Hay’s Masque, The Haddington Masque, and Oberon.” Ben Jonson Journal 5, no. 1 (1998): 81–100.

Maguire, Nancy Klein. “The Theatrical Mask/Masque of Politics: The Case of Charles I.” Journal of British Studies 28:1 (1989): 1-22.

Marcus, Leah S. “City Metal and Country Mettle: the Occasion of Ben Jonson’s Golden Age Restored.” Pageantry in the Shakespearean Theater, ed. David M. Bergeron, pp. 26–47. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1985.

_____. “Masquing Occasions and Masque Structure.” Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama 24 (1981): 7–16.

_____. The Politics of Mirth: Jonson, Herrick, Milton, Marvell, and the Defense of Old Holiday Pastimes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.

Maurer, Margaret. “Reading Ben Jonson’s Queens.” Seeking the Woman in Late Medieval and Renaissance Writings: Essays in Feminist Contextual Criticism, ed. Sheila Fisher and Janet E. Halley, pp. 233–63. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1989.

McGinnis, Katherine Tucker. “‘Face Time—Mask Time’: The Merging and Diverging of Public and Private Space in Sixteenth-Century Dance Practices.” In Virtute et arte del danzare: Contributi di storia della danza in onore di Barbara Sparti, edited by Alessandro Pomtremoli, pp. 83-97. Rome: ARACNE editrice, 2011.

McManus, Clare. “Defacing the Carcass: Anna of Denmark and Ben Jonson’s Masque of Blackness.” Refashioning Ben Jonson: Gender, Politics, and the Jonsonian Canon, ed. Julie Sanders, Kate Chedgzoy and Susan Wiseman, pp. 93–113. New York: St. Martin’s Press-now Palgrave Macmillan, 1998.

_____. Women and Culture at the Courts of the Stuart Queens. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

_____. Women on the Renaissance Stage: Anna of Denmark and Female Masquing in the Stuart Court, 1590-1619. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002.

Meagher, John C. “The Dance and the Masques of Ben Jonson.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 25 (1962): 258-277.

Meskill, Lynn Sermin. “Exorcising the Gorgon of Terror: Jonson’s Masque of Queens.” English Literary History 72, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 181–207.

Mickel, Lesley. Ben Jonson’s Antimasques: a History of Growth and Decline. Aldershot, UK and Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, 1999.

_____. “Glorious Spangs and Rich Embroidery: Costume in The Masque of Blackness and Hymenaei.” Studies in the Literary Imagination 36, no. 2 (2003): 41–59.

Morris, Ann Pleiss. “The Queen’s Masques: Rethinking Jacobean Masques and an English Feminine Theater.” Philological Quarterly 97, no. 4 (2018): 467-480.

Mullally, Robert. “More about the Measures.” Early Music 22, no. 2 (1994): 414-438.

_____. “Measure as a Choreographic Term in the Stuart Masque.” Dance Research 16, no. 1 (Summer 1998): 67-73.

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Norbrook, David. “‘The Masque of Truth’: Court Entertainments and International Protestant Politics in the Early Stuart Period.” The Seventeenth Century 1, no. 2 (July 1986): 81–110.

Normand, Lawrence. “Witches, King James, and The Masque of Queens.” Representing Women in Renaissance England, ed. Claude J. Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth, pp. 107–20. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1997.

Oh, Elisa. “‘In Motion Swift and Even’: Perpetual Motion and Othering in Ben Jonson’s The Masque of Blackness and The Masque of Beauty.” Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies, December 8, 2014.

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_____. “Jonson and the Amazons.” Soliciting Interpretation: Literary Theory and Seventeenth-Century English Poetry, ed. Elizabeth D. Harvey and Katharine Eisaman Maus, pp. 119–39. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

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Palmer, Barbara D. “Court and Country: the Masque as Sociopolitical Subtext.” Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England: An Annual Gathering of Research, Criticism and Reviews 7 (1995): 338–54.

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Rebhorn, Wayne A. Courtly Performances: Masking and Festivity in Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1978.

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Schwarz, Kathryn. “Amazon Reflections in the Jacobean Queen’s Masque.” Studies in English Literature 35, no. 2 (1995): 293–309.

Shaw, Catherine M. “The Tempest and Hymenaei.” Cahiers Elisabéthains 26 (1984): 29–39.

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Smith, Irwin. “Ariel and the Masque in The Tempest.” Shakespeare Quarterly 21 (1970): 213–23.

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Steele, M. S. Plays & Masques at Court during the Reigns of Elizabeth, James and Charles. New York: Russell & Russell, 1926, 1968.

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Thierry, Demaubus. “Ritual, Ostension and the Divine in the Stuart Masque.” Literature and Theology 17, no. 3 (2003): 298–313.

Twycross, Meg, and Sarah Carpenter. Masks and Masking in Medieval and Early Tudor England. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002.

van der Leeuw, Tracy Lee. “Dancing Queen, Elizabeth I and Anna of Denmark: Dance, Masques, and the Queen’s Role.” PhD diss., University of Minnesota, 2003.

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Walls, Peter. Music in the English Courtly Masque 1604-1640. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996.

Ward, John. “Apropos ‘The olde Measures.’” Records of Early English Drama Newsletter 18, no. 1 (1993): 2-21.

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_____. “Newly Devis’d Measures for Jacobean Masques.” Acta Musicologica 60, no. 2 (1988): 111-142.

Welsford, Enid. The Court Masque: A Study in the Relationship between Poetry & the Revels. Cambridge: Russell & Russell, 1962.

_____. “Italian Influence on the English Court Masque.” The Modern Language Review 100, Supplement (2005): 75-90.

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Wickham, Glynne. “Masque and Anti-masque in The Tempest.” Essays and Studies 28 (1975): 1–14.

Wienpahl, Robert. Music at the Inns of Court during the Reigns of Elizabeth, James, and Charles. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International for the Department of Music, California State University, Northridge, 1979.

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Wynne-Davies, Marion. “The Queen’s Masque: Renaissance Women and the Seventeenth-Century Court Masque.” Gloriana’s Face: Women, Public and Private, in the English Renaissance, ed. S. P. Cerasano and Marion Wynne-Davies, pp. 79–104. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1992.

Yamada, Yumiko. “The Masque of Queens: Between Sight and Sound.” Hot Questrists after the English Renaissance: Essays on Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, ed. Yasunari Takahashi, pp. 255–67. New York: AMS, 2000.

Updated January 3, 2022.

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