Reading the Royal Entry (1604) in/as Print

Heather C. Easterling


King James I’s March 1604 entry into London, many recognize, departs from previ­ous royal entry pageants through its use of triumphal arches, employment of profes­sional dramatists, and emphasis on dialogue. But the 1604 entry also was notable for its essential print identity. Print records of royal entries were common by the time of Elizabeth’s accession, and the 1559 text commemorated the event mainly for the queen and court, listing no author. By contrast, James’s entry, staged and performed over one day, generated four different printed texts, each with a declared author or authors. This article considers how all four entry texts together produce a highly contested portrait of ideas about print, authorship, and authority at the outset of the Jacobean period.

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