The Wedding of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, 1625. Celebrations and Controversy

Canova-Green, Marie-Claude and Wolfson, Sara, eds. 2020. The Wedding of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, 1625. Celebrations and Controversy. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers. ISBN 9782503585321 [Edited Book]

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Abstract or Description

The union of 1625 between Charles Stuart, the Protestant king of Great Britain, and Henrietta Maria, a Catholic Bourbon princess, was a unique cross-confessional alliance in post-Reformation Europe. The volume brings together literary, art, music, and political-cultural scholars to explore for the first time the variety of celebrations that accompanied the match.

On 11 May 1625 Charles I married Henrietta Maria, the youngest sister of Louis XIII of France. The match signalled Britain’s firm alignment with France against Habsburg Spain and promised well for future relations between the two countries. However, the union between a Protestant king and a Catholic princess was controversial from the start and the marriage celebrations were fraught with tensions. They were further disrupted by the sudden death of James I and an outbreak of the plague, which prevented large-scale public celebrations in London. The British weather also played its part. In fact, unlike other state occasions, the celebrations exposed weaknesses in the display of royal grandeur and national superiority. To a large extent they also failed to hide the tensions in the Stuart-Bourbon alliance. Instead they revealed the conflicting expectations of the two countries, each convinced of its own superiority and intent on furthering its own national interests. Less than two years later Britain was effectively in a state of war against France.

In this volume, leading scholars from a variety of disciplines explore for the first time the marriage celebrations of 1625, with a view to uncovering the differences and misunderstandings beneath the outward celebration of union and concord. By taking into account the ceremonial, political, religious and international dimensions of the event, the collection paints a rounded portrait of a union that would become personally successful, but complicated by the various tensions played out in the marriage celebrations and discussed here

Introduction–MALCOLM SMUTS * The Anglo-French-Scottish Marital Triangle, c. 1200-1625 – LUCINDA DEAN * Charles and Henrietta Maria, Personality and Politics, 1600-1625 –J.R. MULRYNE * Henrietta Maria, Pierre de Bérulle and the Plague of 1625-1626 –KAREN BRITLAND * Henrietta Maria’s Progress through France and the Entry into Amiens –M-C. CANOVA-GREEN * Dressing and Decorating for the Wedding Celebrations of 1625 –ERIN GRIFFEY * Multiple Voices in Festival Accounts of the Marriage of Charles and Henrietta Maria –MARGARET SHEWRING * The Welcoming Journey of Queen Henrietta Maria and Stuart-Bourbon Relations, 1625–26 –SARA WOLFSON * John Finch’s Speech for the King and Queen at Canterbury –SARA TREVISAN * Robert Herrick, Clipsby Crew, and the Politics of English Epithalamium in 1625 –KEVIN LAAM *The Festivities that Never Were, 1625-1626 –SYDNEY ANGLO * The Forms of Court Ballets in France, 1621–27 –MARGARET M. MCGOWAN * Inigo Jones between a Spanish Princess and a French Queen –JOHN PEACOCK *The’ French Court Aires With their Ditties Englished’ of 1629 –THOMAS LECONTE * A Nuptial Allegory on the Ceiling of the Queen’s BedChamber at the Queen’s House, Greenwich –GORDON HIGGOTT * Appendices * Index

Item Type:

Edited Book

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


September 2020

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Oct 2019 08:42

Last Modified:

19 Nov 2020 16:16


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