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Creators and narrators

Although it is true that in Early Modern Europe festivals were obvious examples of conspicuous consumption by the upper echelons of society, creators and narrators of these events rarely saw them as straightforward reflections of established hierarchies.   Antoine de Laval, for example,  writing an account of the entry of Henri IV into Moulins in 1595, was as much preoccupied with the projection of his own scholarly image as with an explanation of the symbolism devised for the king’s benefit.   He complained at the necessity of translating his Greek and Latin texts into the vulgar tongue so that “common” readers – “common” is his word -  might penetrate his meaning. 

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