Jessie and Susan Benton held a salon in San Francisco and Paris. Many famous authors attended these salons. As an Art Historian I have spent thousands of hours putting together a enduring bouquet that will last forever, will never lose its fragrance. I am the Phantom of this Rosy Opera! This blog is my Masterpiece! Enjoy!
President: Royal Rosamond Press
Lady Anne Clifford, 14th Baroness de Clifford (30 January 1590 – 22 March 1676) was the only surviving child of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland (1558–1605) by his wife Lady Margaret Russell, daughter of Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford. In 1605, she became the suo jure Baroness Clifford and hereditary High Sheriff of Westmorland.
She was a patron of authors and literature; and her many letters and diary made her a literary personage in her own right.
She was brought up in an almost entirely female household—evoked in Emilia Lanier’s Description of Cookeham—and given an excellent education by her tutor, the poet Samuel Daniel. As a child she was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I of England; she also danced in masques with Anne of Denmark, queen of King James I of England. She was the Nymph of the Air in Daniel’s masque Tethys’s Festival, and filled roles in several of the early court masques of Ben Jonson, including The Masque of Beauty (1608) and The Masque of Queens (1609).
She was an important patron of authors and literature; her letters, and the diary she kept from 1603 through 1616, have made her a secondary literary figure in her own right.John Donne is reported to have said that she could ‘discourse of all things from Predestination to Slea-silk ‘. She bore five children by her first husband— although none of their three sons survived to adulthood. Her two surviving daughters both married and had issue. A central conflict with her second husband lay in a choice of husband for her younger daughter, Lady Margaret Sackville (2 July 1614- 14 August 1676). Lady Margaret married in 1629, John Tufton, 2nd Earl of Thanet, by whom she had 11 children.
The artist Jan van Belcamp painted a triptych portrait of Anne Clifford to her own design and specifications. Titled “The Great Picture,” it portrays Lady Anne at three points in her life—at age 56, at age 15, and before birth in her mother’s womb. In connection with the painting, Anne Clifford dated her own conception to 1 May 1589—certainly an unusual act of precision.
In 1656, she erected the Countess Pillar in memory of her late mother. She restored churches at Appleby-in-Westmorland, Ninekirks, Brougham and Mallerstang. She was also responsible for the improvement and expansion of many of the Clifford family’s castles across Northern England, including those at Pendragon (Mallerstang), Brough, Skipton and Appleby, the last being her home.
She served as High Sheriff of Westmorland from 1653 to 1676. At her death, aged 86, she was the Dowager Countess of Dorset, Pembroke, and Montgomery. Her tomb is in St Lawrence’s Church, Appleby-in-Westmorland.
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This article is about 16th – and early 17th-century court entertainments. For other uses, see Masque (disambiguation).
Costume for a Knight, by Inigo Jones: the plumed helmet, the “heroic torso” in armour and other conventions were still employed for opera seria in the 18th century.
The masque was a form of festive courtly entertainment which flourished in 16th and early 17th century Europe, though it was developed earlier in Italy, in forms including the intermedio (a public version of the masque was the pageant). A masque involved music and dancing, singing and acting, within an elaborate stage design, in which the architectural framing and costumes might be designed by a renowned architect, to present a deferential allegory flattering to the patron. Professional actors and musicians were hired for the speaking and singing parts. Often, the masquers who did not speak or sing were courtiers: King James I’s queen consort, Anne of Denmark, frequently danced with her ladies in masques between 1603 and 1611, and Henry VIII and Charles I performed in the masques at their courts. In the tradition of masque, Louis XIV danced in ballets at Versailles with music by Jean-Baptiste Lully. 
The masque tradition developed from the elaborate pageants and courtly shows of ducal Burgundy in the late Middle Ages. Masques were typically a complimentary offering to the prince among his guests and might combine pastoral settings, mythological fable, and the dramatic elements of ethical debate. There would invariably be some political and social application of the allegory. Such pageants often celebrated a birth, marriage, change of ruler or a Royal Entry and invariably ended with a tableau of bliss and concord. Masque imagery tended to be drawn from Classical rather than Christian sources, and the artifice was part of the Grand dance. Masque thus lent itself to Mannerist treatment in the hands of master designers like Giulio Romano or Inigo Jones. The New Historians, in works like the essays of Bevington and Holbrook’s The Politics of the Stuart Court Masque (1998), have pointed out the political subtext of masques. At times, the political subtext was not far to seek: The Triumph of Peace, put on with a large amount of parliament-raised money by Charles I, caused great offence to the Puritans. Catherine de’ Medici’s court festivals, often even more overtly political, were among the most spectacular entertainments of her day, although the “intermezzi” of the Medici court in Florence could rival them.
The masque has its origins in a folk tradition where masked players would unexpectedly call on a nobleman in his hall, dancing and bringing gifts on certain nights of the year, or celebrating dynastic occasions. The rustic presentation of “Pyramus and Thisbe” as a wedding entertainment in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream offers a familiar example. Spectators were invited to join in the dancing. At the end, the players would take off their masks to reveal their identities.
In England, Tudor court masques developed from earlier guisings, where a masked allegorical figure would appear and address the assembled company—providing a theme for the occasion—with musical accompaniment; masques at Elizabeth’s court emphasized the concord and unity between Queen and Kingdom. A descriptive narrative of a processional masque is the masque of the Seven Deadly Sins in Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (Book i, Canto IV). A particularly elaborate masque, performed over the course of two weeks for Queen Elizabeth, is described in the 1821 novel Kenilworth, by Sir Walter Scott. Later, in the court of James I, narrative elements of the masque became more significant. Plots were often on classical or allegorical themes, glorifying the royal or noble sponsor. At the end, the audience would join with the actors in a final dance. Ben Jonson wrote a number of masques with stage design by Inigo Jones. Their works are usually thought of as the most significant in the form. Sir Philip Sidney also wrote masques.
William Shakespeare wrote a masque-like interlude in The Tempest, understood by modern scholars to have been heavily influenced by the masque texts of Ben Jonson and the stagecraft of Inigo Jones. There is also a masque sequence in his Romeo and Juliet and Henry VIII. John Milton’s Comus (with music by Henry Lawes) is described as a masque, though it is generally reckoned a pastoral play.
Reconstructions of Stuart masques have been few and far between. Part of the problem is that only texts survive complete; there is no complete music, only fragments, so no authoritative performance can be made without reconstruction.
The English semi-opera which developed in the latter part of the 17th century, a form in which John Dryden and Henry Purcell collaborated, borrows some elements from the masque and further elements from the contemporary courtly French opera of Jean-Baptiste Lully.
The 18th-century masques were less frequently staged. “Rule, Britannia!” started out as part of Alfred, a masque about Alfred the Great co-written by James Thomson and David Mallet which was first performed at Cliveden, country house of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Performed to celebrate the third birthday of Frederick’s daughter Augusta. It remains among the best-known British patriotic songs up to the present, while the masque of which it was originally part is only remembered by specialist historians.
Of all the arts of the Renaissance, the masque is the artistic form most alien to audiences today. The most outstanding humanists, poets and artists of the day, in the full intensity of their creative powers, devoted themselves to producing masques; and until the Puritans closed the English theatres in 1642, the masque was the highest artform in England. But because of its ephemeral nature, not a lot of documentation related to masques remains, and much of what is said about the production and enjoyment of masques is still part speculation.
 20th century
While no longer popular, there are some later examples of the masque. In the 20th century, Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote Job, a masque for dancing which premiered in 1930, although the work is closer to a ballet than a masque as it was originally understood. His designating it a masque was to indicate that the modern choreography typical when he wrote the piece would not be suitable.
Constant Lambert also wrote a piece he called a masque, Summer’s Last Will and Testament, for orchestra, chorus and baritone. His title he took from Thomas Nash, whose masque was probably first presented before the Archbishop of Canterbury, perhaps at his London seat, Lambeth Palace, in 1592.
n England, Anne shifted her energies from factional politics to patronage of the arts and constructed her own magnificent court, hosting one of the richest cultural salons in Europe. After 1612, she suffered sustained bouts of ill health and gradually withdrew from the centre of court life. Though she was reported to have been a Protestant at the time of her death, evidence suggests that she may have converted to Catholicism sometime in her life.
Patron of the arts
Anne shared with James the fault of extravagance, though it took her several years to exhaust her considerable dowry. She loved dancing and pageants, activities often frowned upon in Presbyterian Scotland, but for which she found a vibrant outlet in Jacobean London, where she created a “rich and hospitable” cultural climate at the royal court, became an enthusiastic playgoer, and sponsored lavish masques. Sir Walter Cope, asked by Robert Cecil to select a play for the Queen during her brother Duke Ulric of Holstein’s visit, wrote, “Burbage is come and says there is no new play the Queen has not seen but they have revived an old one called Love’s Labour’s Lost which for wit and mirth he says will please her exceedingly.” Anne’s masques, scaling unprecedented heights of dramatic staging and spectacle, were avidly attended by foreign ambassadors and dignitaries and functioned as a potent demonstration of the English crown’s European significance. Zorzi Giustinian, the Venetian ambassador, wrote of the Christmas 1604 masque that “in everyone’s opinion no other Court could have displayed such pomp and riches”.
The Queen’s House at Greenwich, begun for Anne in 1616
Anne’s masques were responsible for almost all the courtly female performance in the first two decades of the seventeenth century and are regarded as crucial to the history of women’s performance. Anne sometimes performed with her ladies in the masques herself, occasionally offending members of the audience. In The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses of 1604, she played Pallas Athena, wearing a tunic that some observers regarded as too short; in The Masque of Blackness of 1605, Anne performed while six months pregnant, she and her ladies causing scandal by appearing with their skin painted as “blackamores.” Letter writer Dudley Carleton reported that when the Queen afterwards danced with the Spanish ambassador, he kissed her hand “though there was danger it would have left a mark upon his lips”. Anne commissioned the leading talents of the day to create these masques, including Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones.
Jones, a gifted architect steeped in the latest European taste, also designed the Queen’s House at Greenwich for Anne, one of the first true Palladian buildings in England; and the Dutch inventor Salomon de Caus laid out her gardens at Greenwich and Somerset House. Anne particularly loved music and patronised the lutenist and composer John Dowland, previously employed at her brother’s court in Denmark, as well as “more than a good many” French musicians.
Anne also commissioned artists such as Paul van Somer, Isaac Oliver, and Daniel Mytens, who led English taste in visual arts for a generation. Under Anne, the Royal Collection began once more to expand, a policy continued by Anne’s son Charles. Historian Alan Stewart suggests that many of the phenomena now seen as peculiarly Jacobean can be identified more closely with Anne’s patronage than with James, who “fell asleep during some of England’s most celebrated plays”.
Daniel was born near Taunton in Somerset, the son of a music-master. He was the brother of lutenist and composer John Danyel. Their sister Rosa was Edmund Spenser’s model for Rosalind in his The Shepherd’s Calendar; she eventually married John Florio. In 1579, Daniel was admitted to Magdalen Hall (now known as Hertford College) at Oxford University, where he remained for about three years and afterwards devoted himself to the study of poetry and philosophy. A “Samuel Daniel” is recorded in 1586 as being the servant of Edward Stafford, the Baron of Stafford and the English ambassador in France. This is probably the same person as the poet.
 Later life
He was first encouraged and, if we may believe him, taught in verse, by the famous Countess of Pembroke, whose honour he was never weary of proclaiming. He had entered her household as tutor to her son, Lord Herbert. His first known work, a translation of Paulus Jovius, to which some original matter is appended, was printed in 1585.
His first known volume of verse is dated 1592; it contains the cycle of sonnets to Delia and the romance called The Complaint of Rosamond. Twenty-seven of the sonnets had already been printed at the end of Sir Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella without the author’s consent. Several editions of Delia appeared in 1592, and they were very frequently reprinted during Daniel’s lifetime. Dedicated to “The Right Honourable the Lady Mary Countess of Pembroke”, we learn that Delia lived on the banks of the River Avon—not Shakespeare’s one, of course, but the one which flowed through “where Delia has her seat” at Wilton in Wiltshire—and that the sonnets to her were inspired by her memory when the poet was in Italy. To an edition of Delia and Rosamond, in 1594, was added the tragedy of Cleopatra, written in classical style, in alternately rhyming heroic verse, with choral interludes. The First Four Books of the Civil Wars, an historical poem on the subject of the Wars of the Roses, in ottava rima, appeared in 1595.
As far as is known, it was not until 1599 that there was published a volume entitled Poetical Essays, which contained, besides the “Civil Wars,” “Musophilus” and “A letter from Octavia to Marcus Antonius,” poems in Daniel’s finest and most mature manner. About this time he became tutor to Lady Anne Clifford, daughter of the Margaret Clifford, Countess of Cumberland. On the death of Edmund Spenser, in the same year, Daniel received the somewhat vague office of Poet Laureate, which he seems, however to have shortly resigned in favour of Ben Jonson. Whether it was on this occasion is not known, but about this time, and at the recommendation of his brother-in-law, Giovanni Florio, he was taken into favour at court, and wrote a Panegyricke Congratulatorie offered to the King at Burleigh Harrington in Rutland, in ottava rima.
In 1601 the Panegyricke was published in a presentation folio, the first folio volume of collected works by a living English poet (a distinction usually mistakenly awarded to Ben Jonson’s 1616 folio Works). Many later editions contained in addition his Poetical Epistles to his patrons and an elegant prose essay called A Defence of Rime (originally printed in 1602) in answer to Thomas Campion’s Observations on the Art of English Poesie, which argued that rhyme was unsuited to the genius of the English language.
In 1603, Daniel was appointed master of the queen’s revels. In this capacity he brought out a series of masques and pastoral tragi-comedies—of which were printed The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses (1604); The Queen’s Arcadia, an adaptation of Guarini’s Pastor Fido (1606); Tethys’ Festival or the Queenes Wake, written on the occasion of Prince Henry’s becoming a Knight of the Bath (1610); and Hymen’s Triumph, in honour of Lord Roxburghe’s marriage (1615).
(As a dramatist, Daniel maintained a traditional relationship with Court and University, and had little to do with the popular drama that was such a striking development of his culture in his era. As a result, he was largely insulated from the turmoil that sometimes enveloped the popular drama—though not totally: a 1604 performance of his play Philotas led to his being called before the Privy Council. The hero of the play was perceived to resemble Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex—a troubling connection, given the Earl’s 1601 execution for treason.)
In 1605, Certain Small Poems appeared, with the tragedy of Philotas. Certaine small Workes heretofore divulged by Samuel Daniel (1607) was a revised version of all his works except Delia and the Civil Wars. In 1609 the Civil Wars had been completed in eight books. In 1612 Daniel published a prose History of England, from the earliest times down to the end of the reign of Edward III. This popular work was continued and published in 1617. The section dealing with William the Conqueror was published in 1692 as being the work of Sir Walter Raleigh.
Daniel was made a gentleman-extraordinary and groom of the chamber to Queen Anne, sinecure offices which did not interfere with his literary career. He was acknowledged as a leading writer of the time. Shakespeare, Selden and Chapman were among the few friends allowed to visit his secluded home in Old Street, St Luke’s, where, Fuller tells us, he would “lie hid for some months together, the more retiredly to enjoy the company of the Muses, and then would appear in public to converse with his friends.” Late in life Daniel threw up his titular posts at court and retired to a farm called “The Ridge,” (in the hamlet now known as “Rudge”) near Beckington, in Somerset. Here he died on 14 October 1619.
Daniel’s poetic works are numerous, but were long neglected. This is more surprising since, during the 18th century, when so little Elizabethan literature was read, Daniel retained his prestige. Later, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Lamb and others praised this poet. Of his works the sonnets are now, perhaps, most read. They depart from the Italian sonnet form in closing with a couplet, as is the case with most of the sonnets of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and Sir Thomas Wyatt, but they have a grace and tenderness all their own.
Of a higher order is The Complaint of Rosamond, a soliloquy in which the ghost of the murdered woman appears and bewails her fate in stanzas of exquisite pathos. Among the Epistles to Distinguished Persons will be found some of Daniel’s noblest stanzas and most polished verse. The epistle to Lucy, Countess of Bedford, is remarkable among those as being composed in genuine terza rima, till then not used in English. Daniel was particularly fond of a four-lined stanza of solemn alternately rhyming iambics, a form of verse distinctly misplaced in his dramas. These, inspired by the Countess of Pembroke, are less successful than his pastorals; and Hymen’s Triumph is considered the best of his dramatic writing. An extract from this masque is given in Lamb’s Dramatic Poets, and was highly praised by Coleridge.
Daniel was a great innovator in verse. His style is full, easy and stately, without being very animated or splendid; it is content with level flights. As a gnomic writer Daniel approaches Chapman, but is more musical and coherent. He lacks fire and passion, but he has scholarly grace and tender, mournful reverie.
Daniel has been suggested as a possible author of the anonymous play The Maid’s Metamorphosis (1600), though no consensus on the argument has been achieved. Daniel’s works were edited by AB Grosart from 1885 to 1896. Projected scholarly editions of the complete works, including that planned by the Oxford University Press, have not yet been published. A recent edition of his major poetry, with explanatory notes, is Samuel Daniel: Selected Poetry and A Defence of Rhyme (Asheville, NC: Pegasus Press, 1998), by Geoffrey Hiller and Peter Groves.