Symbols of Sovereignty: Food, Pageantry and Propaganda in Lancastrian England and France

Vanessa King (Goldsmiths, University of London)
18 May 2017

This paper considers how the presentation of sweetmeats at royal banquets played a small but significant part in selling the ideology of the Lancastrian monarchy.  English sources first note the use of sotelties, in the form of edible heraldic devices, by Henry IV to proclaim the legitimacy of his usurpation of Richard II.  For Henry V and Henry VI, feasting provided the opportunity to reinforce the rightness of their claim to rule England and France.  Centre stage is given to the elaborate sotelties presented before dinner guests, with accompanying verses by John Lydgate, at the English coronation of Henry VI in 1429.

Food History seminar series

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