Next SWEMNinar: Bailey on Salmacida Spolia

The next meeting of the South West Early Modernist Network (and the last meeting of this academic year) is on Wednesday 20th May, starting at 6.30pm.  Dr Rebecca Bailey of the University of Gloucestershire will be giving a paper entitled ‘Salmacida Spolia: Showcasing a Counter-Reformation Amazon, Queen Henrietta Maria’s final masquing vision’.

Rebecca’s abstract:

This paper explores the vivid staging of the concerns of the wider Roman Catholic community before the outbreak of Civil War. In today’s largely secular society it is only too easy to dismiss the early modern Protestant’s fear of the menacing spectre of popery and the Catholic’s equally staunch determination that the old faith adapt and survive. Yet as this exploration of the last court masque Salmacida Spolia (1640) suggests these religio-political issues were vigorously debated in Caroline England; sharpened and intensified by Queen Henrietta Maria’s presence as a self-styled deliverer of the recusant community.

Through Inigo Jones’s striking martial vision of Henrietta Maria in Amazon costume Salmacida Spolia spotlights the Queen’s Counter-Reformation ambitions which she had previously so boldly staged in elite performances ranging from L’Artenice (1626) to Luminalia (1638). Such a powerful visualisation of the militant Roman Catholicism which was increasingly central to the Queen’s Court illuminates the significant fractures within the Caroline court at this translucent moment of acute cultural and religio-political collapse.

Wine will be served after Rebecca’s paper, and we will then be going on to eat in central Bath; you are welcome to join us.

Directions and a map of the campus are here. We will meet in the Castle, room CE.G01 on the ground floor. The nearest car park is next to Newton building (see map); directions to Newton Park by public transport are also on the BSU website.

We very much hope that you’ll be able to attend.


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