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The John Nichols Project


The John Nichols project, under the direction of Professor Elizabeth Clarke and a Steering Committee comprising experts on Elizabethan England, is a significant research initiative which will culminate with the publication of a new critical edition on John Nichols' collection of Elizabethan progress and entertainment texts: The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth I (London, 1788-1823).

This collection has not been re-published since its initial emergence, in two editions, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. A new edition of Nichols' early modern materials, based on a critical re-examination of printed and manuscript sources, and edited to high and consistent standards, is widely considered to be a scholarly necessity.

Court entertainment and civic pageantry under Queen Elizabeth I have long been topics of interest to research scholars. However, the work has suffered from a dearth of strict historical investigation and assessment, and the lack of reliable texts. The John Nichols project therefore sets out to:

  • provide reliable texts of Nichols' early modern materials, on which more thorough interpretation of a wide range of Elizabethan entertainments, pageants and court culture can be based

  • produce and disseminate research into the progresses and court culture of Queen Elizabeth I

The first of these aims is being realised by a critical old-spelling edition of The Progresses (1788-1823), scheduled for publication in 2012.

The second aim is being realised in three main ways:

John Nichols's The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth I: A New Edition of the Early Modern Sources (Five-volume set). Published by OUP, 23 Jan 2014. On sale through Amazon link

Review by CARLO M. BAJETTA, Universita' della Valle d’Aosta, available here