A party or dance at which fancy masks and costumes are worn. The masquerade originated in Italy, and was introduced into France by Catherine de Medici; reaching England during the reign of Henry VIII, where it flourished under Elizabeth I, giving rise to a new kind of play - the masque. Forbidden in France in 1535, it was reintroduced by Louis XIV, and again proscribed in 1789.

The masquerade continues to this day in Mardi Gras, Carnival, Halloween, Masquerade Balls, parties, parades, festivals and more.

A fictional event created by Robert A. Heinlein.

Forseeing bigotry and persecution on the part of those who were not part of the Howard breeding experiment and thus not eligible for the Howard's exceptional longevity, the Howard Foundation instituted a policy where each member of the Families would change identities every several years. This way, the actual age of the individual (which could potentially be several decades above the apparent and assumed ages) would not be ascertainable. It was this policy that led Woodrow Wilson Smith to adopt the nom de guerre of Lazarus Long. The theory behind the Masquerade was validated when the Masquerade was ended and widespread persecution of Howards did indeed take place.

The Masquerade includes events in both To Sail Beyond the Sunset and Methuselah's Children.

Masquerade is the title of a picture book by artist Kit Williams that was unlike any other when it first published in 1979, and inspired delight, mayhem, frustration and, ultimately, skullduggery over the next few years.

The story tells of a hare instructed to take a treasure from the Moon, to her lover, the Sun. The hare loses the treasure and it is up to the reader to find it by studying the 15 pictures included.

Oh what pictures they were! In the first picture, fieldmice pose suspended between grass stalks, under a moon's light, with the hare hidden in the mountains (a hare is hidden in each picture). Framing the picture is a phrase:

I am as cold as earth,
as old as earth,
and in the earth am I,
one of six to eight.

Some of the letters in the phrase are coloured red, in this case spelling out Hare. But wait, other letters are barbed, and they spell out Golden.

A golden hare, buried somewhere in England, for anyone to find.

So thus began the treasure hunt, with folk across the land-- bearing spades and metal detectors-- heading to public green spaces with their copy of the book. For those of us across the sea, we had to make do with frequent visits to the library, book and notebook and maps and encyclopaedias sprawled across tables. Librarians would pass by, make a disapproving sound, then pass by again, hovering, leaning over and then scurrying off to bring us a history book on Henry VIII, inspired the clue 'one of six to eight'.

Meanwhile, more cleverer hunters had broken the next level, by unpicking the process that lead to more clues from letters in the phrase, and supported by items in the pictures. These clues spelled out the treasure's location and pointed to digging at a certain spot, at a certain time of the year and time of day to find the treasure. Unfortunately, the people who dug up the treasure missed it, and it was picked up out of the dirt pile they left behind by someone who had 'hacked' their way to the solution by sleeping with the artist's ex-girlfriend.

So ended the physical hunt for the treasure, however the book still exists for anyone to try to solve, and Williams as well produced an equally entertaining and sumptuous follow-up, The Book with No Name, with the quest to find its title.

As a young impressionable man, being given Masquerade as a Christmas present led to many hours of study, learning, dreaming and discovery and I will always appreciate William's challenge.

Mas`quer*ade" (?), n. [F. mascarade, fr. Sp. mascarada, or It. mascherata. See Mask.]


An assembly of persons wearing masks, and amusing themselves with dancing, conversation, or other diversions.

In courtly balls and midnight masquerades. Pope.


A dramatic performance by actors in masks; a mask. See 1st Mask, 4.



Acting or living under false pretenses; concealment of something by a false or unreal show; pretentious show; disguise.

That masquerade of misrepresentation which invariably accompanied the political eloquence of Rome. De Quincey.


A Spanish diversion on horseback.


© Webster 1913.

Mas`quer*ade", v. i. [imp. & p. p. Masqueraded; p. pr. & vb. n. Masquerading.]


To assemble in masks; to take part in a masquerade.


To frolic or disport in disquise; to make a pretentious show of being what one is not.

A freak took an ass in the head, and he goes into the woods, masquerading up and down in a lion's skin. L'Estrange.


© Webster 1913.

Mas`quer*ade", v. t.

To conceal with masks; to disguise.

"To masquerade vice."



© Webster 1913.

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