Blood and Canvas: English Theatre, Iconoclasm, and the Dawn of the Civil War

Blood and Canvas: English Theatre, Iconoclasm, and the Dawn of the Civil War Barbara Ravelhofer
Forthcoming in 2018
What motivated a Member of Parliament to slash a Rubens painting in 1643? The reign of Charles I and his French queen Henrietta Maria saw a flourishing of great art but also acts of iconoclasm. Baroque splendour in theatre and conspicuous consumption in Londonís first shopping malls coexisted uneasily with a new antitheatrical ethos that connected the superfluous with the idolatrous. Henrietta Maria has often been seen as Englandís answer to Marie-Antoinette: her chapel boasted a special-effects altar, and she acted in theatricals. James Shirley, her playwright, celebrated successes with plays about the dubious allure of illusion. To her admirers, the queen was a revelation when she appeared on stage; horrified detractors who inveighed against her as the scarlet whore of Babylon suffered imprisonment and mutilation.
Blood and Canvas illustrates emerging ideas of visual (in)tolerance and free speech in pre-modern Europe. It is essential reading on the intersection of theatre, female agency, consumer culture, and religious politics at the dawn of the Civil War. Newly discovered sources explain the logistics of spectacle and the story of a lost Rubens Crucifixion. Iconoclasm is but one side of the coin: theatre and art can be tools of aggression.

Blood and Canvas: English Theatre, Iconoclasm and the Dawn of the Civil War
Barbara Ravelhofer | forthcoming in 2018
6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781909254497
ISBN Hardback: 9781909254503
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781909254510
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781909254527
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781909254534
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0072
BIC subject codes:

Barbara Ravelhofer  is Professor in English Studies at Durham University and Research Associate at the Centre for History and Economics, Cambridge. She has published on European spectacle from the Middle Ages to the seventeenth century, censorship, and literature of the Thirty Years War. Her book The Early Stuart Masque (OUP 2006) and her edition of Louange de la danse (RTM 2000) reflect theatre practice at the early modern French and English courts.