Christmas masque...


 Christmas Masque
Frontpage from 'London News' by Charles Gilbert, 1859
Purchase it here 

'Christmas, His Masque', also called 'Christmas His Show', was a Jacobean
era masque, written by Ben Jonson and performed at the English royal court
at Christmas of 1616. Jonson's masque displays the traditional folklore and
iconography of Christmas at an early-modern and pre-commercial
stage of its development.

The masque was a form of festive courtly entertainment that flourished
in 16th- and early 17th-century Europe and it involved music and dancing, singing
and acting, within an elaborate stage design. Professional actors and musicians were
hired for the speaking and singing parts. Often, the masquers who did not speak or sing
were courtiers: King James I's queen consort, Anne of Denmark, frequently danced
with her ladies in masques between 1603 and 1611, and Henry VIII
and Charles I performed in the masques at their courts

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