Unknown woman in masque costume, miniature by Isaac Oliver, 1609. Image: Wikipedia
In the Masque of Queens, everybody finds out eventually that they are taking part in an illusion.
A Story of Guile at the Stuart Court
Betrayed Queen No 1: Anne of Denmark, wife of James VI of Scotland and I of England, by Paul van Somer, 1617. Image: Wikipedia.
She was a cultured woman in a difficult marriage to a gay, frequently drunk, pedant. Her patronage of the arts added lustre and prestige to the disreputable, faction-ridden Jacobean court that lurched from plot to counter-plot while James deluded himself that a king with bishops could keep the balance of power.
She loved hunting and dancing, and commissioning and performing in the…
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