Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Stuarts In Italy

According to Cambridge University Press, the blurb for The Stuarts in Italy, 1719–1766: A Royal Court in Permanent Exile by Edward Corp:

For nearly half of the eighteenth century, the exiled Stuart court provided an important British presence in Rome. It acted as a surrogate embassy for the many Grand Tourists passing through the city – Hanoverian Whigs as well as Tories and Jacobites – and as a significant social and cultural centre. This book presents the first complete study of the court of the exiled Stuart King James III, offering a significant reassessment of its importance and of the lives of the Stuarts and their courtiers, and their relations with the Popes, cardinals and princely families of Rome. Edward Corp's interdisciplinary approach also reveals the Stuarts' patronage of leading portrait painters, their influence on the development of Italian opera, and the impact of their court buildings on relations with their supporters. This book will be essential reading for everyone with an interest in Jacobitism, Italian culture and the eighteenth-century Grand Tour.

~This is the first ever study of the exiled Stuart Court in Italy
~Provides a great deal of new information about the lives of all four members of the Stuart royal family; James III and his Polish wife Queen Clementina, and the upbringing of their two children (Bonnie Prince Charlie and Cardinal York)
~Makes comprehensive use of previously unexploited Italian archives

This is a sequel to Corp's work on the Stuart exiles in France, A Court in Exile: The Stuarts in France, 1689–1718, which I reviewed here.
This study of "a court in exile" covers all aspects of the grandeur of court life. When King James II was deposed during the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688-89, he came with his family to France, where his cousin, Louis XIV allowed him to establish a large court-in-exile in the Château of Saint-Germain near Versailles. The book describes the magnificent setting of the court, the way it was organized, and how the exiled courtiers lived. Particular attention is given to the close relationships between the British and French royal families.

~The first full study of the Stuart court in exile in France, following the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688/89
~Covers all aspects of the court - social, financial, cultural - and not merely the political background
~Emphasises cultural and patronage issues, breaking new ground in describing the painting, poetry and music of the court

The emphasis in the new book on music and art, with chapters on "The Stuarts and Italian operatic life", and "The Stuarts and Italian music", as well as on the portraits of the court, looks particularly fascinating.

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