Strategies for celebration: realising the ideal celebratory city in London and Paris, 1660-1715

Tierney, Elaine Alice (2012) Strategies for celebration: realising the ideal celebratory city in London and Paris, 1660-1715. Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

Urban festival actively sought to transform the early modern city, creating an idealised
space that was deemed to be a more suitable site for celebration. This dissertation
shows how urban festival marked both the conjuncture and disjuncture between a
rhetorical ideal and the challenges inherent in its practical realisation in London and
Paris between 1660 and 1715.

Celebrations were located in the real early modern city‐ a space that posed all manner
of design problems for those responsible for designing, devising and choreographing
festival. While the ideal celebratory city did exist in the rhetoric that informed
preparations for events and their representation, festival also constituted a series of
performances in real space and time that were subject to uncontrollable factors, such as
poor weather, injury, uncooperative workforces and imperfect audience response. Only
those charged with commemorating festival had full control over the event, producing
the books, chronicles and illustrative material that are most often consulted as sources
by festival historians.

By means of a tripartite structure, this dissertation will interrogate how the deployment
of the spectacular aspired to create the ideal celebratory city at three key moments in
the narrative of every celebration. The first section focuses on the practical and
legislative preparations made before events. The second section considers the evidence
of what actually happened during the performance or realisation of the events. The
third, and final, part of the dissertation looks at the representation of celebrations in
printed textual descriptions and visual images. Starting from the evidence of objects,
including viewing platforms, fireworks, temporary architecture and bonfires, it will
suggest the extent to which the ideal was achieved and the ways in which it influenced
the practice of those involved in its production. Moreover, as a single event could be
informed by more than one version of the ideal celebratory city, evidence of
preparation, performance and representation will also demonstrate how far
celebrations were the product of contested ideals.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Art History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA129 By period > DA300 Modern, 1485- > DA430 Later Stuarts
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA670 Local history and description > DA675 London
D History General and Old World > DC History of France
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs (General) > GT3400 Customs relative to public and social life Including town life, court life, festivals, holidays, ceremonies of royalty, etc.
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2012 09:05
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2015 15:11
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/39630

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