Spanish/French Marriage Festivals and Politics:
Dynastic Marriages and their Political and Social Reverberations, 1612-1615
Dynastic marriages between the Spanish and French royal houses in 1615, in this case
double marriages, were celebrated with unprecedented magnificence. An interdisciplinary
conference under the auspices of the Society for European Festivals Research, hosted by the
University of Warwick at the Warburg Institute, University of London (18 and 19 March 2011)
explored the extraordinary variety of festival events associated with the occasion. Topics
included: the political implications of the weddings; the array of princely entries interspersed
with elaborate banquets that reworked the two countries’ mythological traditions; court ballets,
carrousels and lavish fireworks made possible by the flair of French and Italian architects and
hydraulic engineers; and the new challenges represented by the events for artists,
choreographers and composers.
Speakers included: Professor Maria Ines Aliverti (Pisa, Italy), Dr Marie-Claude Canova-Green
(Goldsmiths, University of London), Dr Monique Chatenet (Conservateur en chef du
patrimoine, Paris), Dr Paulette Choné (Nancy, France), Professor Sir John Elliott (Oriel
College, Oxford), Dr Patrice Franchet d’Espèrey (Institut français du cheval et de l’équitation),
Dr Chantal Grell (Versailles, Saint-Quentin), Professor Iain Fenlon (King’s College,
Cambridge), Dr Kristian Jensen (British Library), Professor Jill Kraye (Warburg Institute,
London), Professor Margaret McGowan (Sussex), Professor Ronnie Mulryne (Warwick), Mr
Robert O'Toole (Warwick), Dr François Quiviger (Warburg Institute, London), Professor
Nicolas le Roux (Lyon, France) and Dr David Sánchez-Cano (Alfonso X, Madrid). Research
students from Warwick and elsewhere displayed posters during the Conference.
More than sixty people attended the event which was sponsored by Warwick’s Institute of
Advanced Study, School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies and Humanities
Research Centre. A publication arising from the conference will be edited by the organisers
and published by Ashgate as the second volume in the recently-launched Renaissance
Festivals Series.
Margaret M. McGowan (Sussex), Ronnie Mulryne (Warwick),
and Margaret Shewring, School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies.

Spanish/French Marriage Festivals and Politics: