The Court of James V of Scotland, 1528-1542
Royal Octavo 226pp
Illustrated: colour section + distrib. B/w
ISBN: 1 86232 120 5
The lifestyle of a Renaissance prince and his court was a work of art in itself: a dazzling spectacle which propagated the power, dignity and fame of the monarch. The domestic routine of the royal household with its palatial surroundings, restless itinerary and occasional public pageants, provided the framework for cultural activity in its widest possible sense. Fine art, architecture, scholarship, literature, music and piety jostled for attention alongside hunting, feasting, jousting, politics, diplomacy and war.
Emerging defiantly from a long and turbulent minority, the adult James V managed to create for Scotland an exuberant and cosmopolitan court, which imitated in miniature those of France, England and the Netherlands, and which carried important political messages. His ambitious programme of royal patronage combined humanist scholarship, neo-classical and imperial imagery, the cult of chivalry and medieval traditions in a blend which sought to galvanise Scottish national identity and enhance the status of the House of Stewart. For many years the reputation of James V has been overshadowed by the tragic glamour of his father, James IV, killed at Flodden, and his daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots. Princelie Majestie reveals that he was an energetic and innovative patron, who in a brief fourteen years created a court culture of remarkable quality and diversity.
Author: Andrea Thomas is a freelance historian and a former winner of the Jeremiah Dalziel Prize in British History at the University of Edinburgh.