Renaissance Festivals Books: British Library
August 16, 2005 12:54 AM   Subscribe

Renaissance Festival Books. The British Library has digitized 253 books about European festivals and ceremonies that occurred between 1475 and 1700. "From marriages, coronations and births to official visits and saints’ days, celebrations staged by the royal courts of Europe were occasions to be remembered. Festival books could be compared to souvenir programmes, or magazine accounts, documenting through eye-witness accounts and philosophical reflections the key events in the lives of princely and elite folk – the celebrities of the day." The collection is aimed at both lay and scholarly types. via
posted by peacay (12 comments total)
This is my ideal link—many thanks, peacay, for posting it. I’ve a feeling I’ll be spending a great deal of time perusing these books. For an example of some interesting illustrations, check out these engravings of the processions staged at the celebration of the ‘Wedding in London and Heidelberg of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, and Elizabeth, princess of England.’
posted by misteraitch at 1:48 AM on August 16, 2005

As long as there are none of the "Huzzahs" and bad English accents of contemporary Renaissance Festivals, this sounds great.
posted by maxsparber at 2:02 AM on August 16, 2005

This is great, thanks peacay.
posted by plep at 3:22 AM on August 16, 2005

I could spend hours on this too. Fantastic stuff.

Look at all the illustrations of this regatta in Venice -- and then the
photos of the traditional regattas still continuing to this day. No more whale-shaped boats carrying Neptune today, but still...
posted by funambulist at 3:55 AM on August 16, 2005

So you're saying these are the People and Entertainment Weekly of their time?

Didst thou gaze upon how corpulent Her Royal Personage appeared in the bodice by Jacques of Carpathia? Me-ow!
posted by Pollomacho at 6:15 AM on August 16, 2005

Thank you peacay, so many great things to read and look at!
posted by Tarrama at 7:02 AM on August 16, 2005

peacay, as usual, a great post, thanks. Keep up the good work!
posted by OmieWise at 8:57 AM on August 16, 2005

Check out all of this wonderful, timeless art!
posted by WaterSprite at 9:17 AM on August 16, 2005

This is really neat! Thank you for sharing!
posted by headspace at 10:07 AM on August 16, 2005

Amazing. And misteraitch, thanks for linking to that immense volume about the wedding of the Winter King and the Queen of Hearts, the Fun Couple of the early seventeenth century. If only he hadn't accepted the crown of Bohemia!

Incidentally, browsing through the volume I happened on this page, which astonished me. Don Quixote had just come out a few years earlier; what was the blockbuster romance/adventure novel of the day doing in the middle of this solemn record of royal proceedings, in Spanish no less?
posted by languagehat at 12:08 PM on August 16, 2005

Don Quixote had been out for 8 years by 1612. By then there were already several fake sequels as it was the hottest thing since bear baiting. It only seems fitting that there would be a DQ themed event at a festival at that time like you might see a Harry Potter float at the Macy's Parade today.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:37 PM on August 16, 2005

Excellent comparison!
posted by languagehat at 5:57 AM on August 17, 2005

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