Festival culture is an area which has attracted increasing interest in the field of Renaissance studies in recent years.
In part the outcome of scholars' focus on the place of the city in the establishment and dissemination of common culture, the attention paid to festivals also arises from the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, which reaches across the usual demarcation lines between disciplines such as cultural, political and economic history, literature, and the visual and performing arts. The scholars contributing to this volume include representatives from all these disciplines.
Their essays explore common themes in festival culture across Renaissance Europe, including the use of festival in political self-fashioning and the construction of a national self-image.
Moreover, in their detailed examination of particular types of festival, they challenge generalizations and demonstrate the degree to which these events were influenced the personality of the prince, the sources of funding for the ceremony, and the role of festival managers.
Usually perceived as binding forces promoting social cohesion, festivals held the potential for discord, as some of the essays here reveal. Examining a wide range of festivals including coronations, triumphal entries, funerals and courtly spectacles, this volume provides a more inclusive understanding than hitherto of festivals and their role in European Renaissance culture.