Authored by Daniel Parker, Publicity Assistant at Oxford University Press
Snow is falling and your bulging stocking is being hung up above a roaring log fire. The turkey is burning in the oven as you eat your body weight in novelty chocolate. And now your weird, slightly sinister Uncle Frank is coming towards you brandishing mistletoe. This can mean only one thing. In the wise (and slightly altered) words of Noddy Holder: It’s Oxford Scholarly Editions Online Christmas!
Initially derided and dismissed as a Mummers’ play, critics have since revised their treatment of Ben Jonson’s 1616 Christmas Masque. It is now regarded as an important political and social satire on the anti-Christmas forces prevalent in Jacobean society. Jonson’s play promotes traditional Christmas festivities which was a position favoured by King James I but opposed by Puritans. King James I had delivered several public speeches in 1616 promoting traditional country life and pastimes. This Masque is seen as a rather biting criticism of the Puritans who were hostile to Christmas celebrations...Read the rest of this article on the OUPBlog.