The Spanish Ambassador and Samuel Daniel's Vision of the Twelve Goddesses: A New Document [with text]
Cano-Echevarria, B. and Hutchings, M. (2012) The Spanish Ambassador and Samuel Daniel's Vision of the Twelve Goddesses: A New Document [with text]. English Literary Renaissance, 42 (2). pp. 223-257. ISSN 1475-6757
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6757.2012.01105.x
The performance of Samuel Daniel's masque The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses at court on January 8, 1604 took place in the midst of the preliminary negotiations that would lead to the signing of the Anglo-Spanish peace at Somerset House the following August. Philip III sent a special ambassador to England to congratulate James on his accession, and a series of tussles between Juan de Tassis and his French counterpart ensued. As a recently-discovered document in the Archivo General de Simancas reveals, Anna of Denmark intervened personally to insure that de Tassis, and not the Frenchman, attended the masque. This was a clear signal of James and Anna's peace aims, which de Tassis conveyed to the King of Spain; moreover, he enclosed in his dispatch a text of Daniel's masque which he clearly considered both political intelligence and of interest to the theater-loving Hapsburg monarch. The Simancas text of the Daniel masque is a new version, hitherto unknown, which adds to our knowledge of the circumstances in which the first Stuart masque was performed. Here we present a transcription and annotated translation of both de Tassis' letter and the text of the masque he had compiled for Philip III. (B. C.-E. and M. H.)