Manchester, 14th-18th July 2004


Greer Garden (University of Wellington, New Zealand)

The Ballet de la Délivrance de Renault: a comparison of the main sources

Two primary sources of the Ballet de la délivrance de Renaud have come down to us.  One is Etienne Durand’s Discours au vray du Ballet dansé par le Roy, le Dimanche XXIXe jour de janvier 1617, a detailed prose account of the action, ballet entrees and costumes, complemented with engravings and the music of the vocal pieces. It also contains the gallant and encomiastic verse. The other source appears is a separately-issued set of the verse also dated 1617, written for the ballet by its principal poet, René Bordier.

Comparison of the number and layout of the encomiastic poems as they appear in the two sources suggests that the Discours could not have been published before the coup d’état of 27 April. Given that the political thrust of the Discours proves to reflect the post-Concini era rather than the period when the ballet was actually performed, is that we can no longer be certain, as McGowan claimed,  that the ballet was invented expressly to proclaim the young King’s authority at the expense of his mother.

Last updated on 03 June 2004