Forging Diplomacy Abroad and at Home: French Festival Culture in a European Context, 1572-1615

Bram van Leuveren

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully external


    This doctoral thesis is the first to examine the attempts of the late Valois and early Bourbon rulers of France to make strategic use of festival culture for maintaining national and international relations. It focuses on the period between the Anglo-French Treaty of Blois in 1572 and the Habsburg-Bourbon double marriage in 1615. The research starts from the premise that previous scholarship has given too much credence to royal accounts of festive and ceremonial events, as printed in official commemorative books, and has tended to ignore the conflicting responses of various other players (ambassadors, nobles, generals, scholars, students and, occasionally, commoners) who attended these events and often advanced very different ambitions, goals and interests. The thesis thus draws extensively on a wide range of contemporary sources, many of them previously overlooked, including formal and informal eyewitness accounts, theoretical treatises, and memoirs written in French, English, Dutch, Italian, German and Latin. It demonstrates how both non-French and unofficial sources can help develop a more nuanced view of French festival culture and its diplomatic functioning in a wider European context.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of St Andrews
    • Prest, Julia, Supervisor, External person
    Thesis sponsors
    Award date27-Jun-2019
    Place of PublicationSt Andrews
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • Early Modern Europe
    • Early Modern History
    • Performing arts
    • Theatre
    • Ritual
    • Festivals
    • Diplomacy
    • international relations
    • France

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