King Arthur at Sea: Arthurian Pageantry in the age of Elizabeth I

Lucy Dale's picture

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January 24, 2022
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
British History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Theatre & Performance History / Studies

The legend of King Arthur has been reimagined many times over the centuries.

The year the Tudors took power also saw the publication of Sir Thomas Malory’s famous Le Morte D'Arthur (1485), which chronicled this warrior-king and doomed hero.

Join us for a free online talk exploring how Arthur’s legend subsequently became part of royal progresses, plays, tournaments and archery shows in Elizabethan England.

What happens to the Arthurian legend during the English Renaissance? What role did this legend play at the court of Elizabeth I? What do privateers, poets, lawyers and liverymen have to do with King Arthur? How did this reflect the struggles of the turbulent early-modern world?

The Arthurian legend was widely accepted during the medieval period but, as Felicity Brown (University of Oxford) will show, it underwent a transformation during the 1500s so that it now related to, derived from and consisted of ordinary people, not just the elite. Shakespeare never wrote an Arthurian play but it was in the performances of his era that King Arthur first became truly popular.  

Event Details

This event is free and open to everyone, and will take place via Zoom. There is no need to book; please click on the button below shortly before 5.15pm on the day.

Join the event. 

For more information, please visit: King Arthur at Sea: Arthurian Pageantry in the age of Elizabeth I | Royal Museums Greenwich (

This seminar is part of our Maritime History and Culture Seminar series. For more information on the series, please visit: Maritime History and Culture Seminars | Royal Museums Greenwich (

Contact Info: 

Lucy Dale

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