The coronation was, and perhaps still is, one of the most important ceremonies of a monarch's reign. This book examines the five coronations that took place in England between 1509 and 1559: those of Henry VIII, Anne Bolyen, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. It considers how the sacred rite and its related ceremonies and pageants responded to monarchical and religious change and charts how they were interpreted by contemporary observers. Hunt challenges the popular position that has conflated royal ceremony with political propaganda and argues for a deeper understanding of the symbolic complexity of ceremony. At the heart of the study is an investigation into the vexed issues of legitimacy and representation which leads Hunt to identify the emergence of an important and fruitful exchange between ceremony and drama. This exchange will have significant implications for our understanding both of the period's theatre and of the cultural effects of the Protestant Reformation. The book will be of great interest to scholars and students of late medieval and early modern history and literature.

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