George Chapman's Masque of the Twelve Months (1619) [With text]



George Chapman's Masque of the Twelve Months was first printed by John Payne Collier in 1848, with no author's name attached and in scrambled form. Although it was discovered in 1950 that the author must have been Chapman, it has never been reprinted or drawn into the Chapman canon. This essay re-edits the text, and shows that it was the masque performed at Whitehall by Prince Charles and the Marquis of Buckingham on Twelfth Night 1619; three scene designs by Inigo Jones can also be linked to it. The masque's theme concerns the Stuart succession, and the need to protect the Jacobean peace at a time when Europe was just beginning to descend into what would become the Thirty Years War.