This 1998 book takes an alternative look at the courtly masque in early seventeenth-century England. For a generation, the masque has been a favourite topic of New Historicism, because it has been seen as part of the process by which artistic works interact with politics, both shaping and reflecting the political life of a nation. These exciting essays move importantly beyond a molithic view of culture and power in the production of masques, to one in which rival factions at the courts of James I and of Charles I represent their clash of viewpoints through dancing and spectacle. All aspects of the masque are considered, from written text and political context to music, stage picture and dance. The essays, written by distinguished scholars from around the world, present an interdisciplinary approach, with experts on dance, music, visual spectacle and politics all addressing the masque from the point of view of their speciality.