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Home :: Archive :: 1992 :: January ::
Mountjoy & Sonnets; Jonson & *JC*; Eliz. Portraiture
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 12. Thursday, 16 Jan 1992.
 
 
(1)	Date: 	Wed, 15 Jan 1992 15:58:01 -0500
	From: 	
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  (Tim Bowden)
	Subj:  	Sonnets and history - a speculation
 
(2)	Date: 	Wed, 15 Jan 1992 16:04:47 -0500
	From: 	
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  (Tim Bowden)
	Subj: 	400-year-old Slight!
 
(3)	Date: 	Thu, 16 Jan 1992 09:53:00 -0500
	From: 	
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	Subj: 	Re: SHK 3.0011 R: Elizabethan Portraiture
 
	
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Date: 		Wed, 15 Jan 1992 15:58:01 -0500
From: 		
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  (Tim Bowden)
		SHAKSPER%clovis.FIDONET.ORG@husc6.BITNET (SHAKSPER)
Subject:  	Sonnets and history - a speculation
 
The Sonnets were written, it says here, during the plague years,
1592-4.  The first definite mention is by Meres in 1598
("Shakespeare's sugared sonnets among his private friends.." were
not numbered or otherwise identified, of course), and they were
entered into the Stationer's Register in 1609.
 
The young lord addressed by the Poet in the first of the Sonnets is
generally assumed to be the Earl of Southampton.  However, there is
some resonance in the legal history of this period I find extremely
interesting.
 
In 1602, Shakespeare was apparently living in the house of one
Christopher Mountjoy, a wigmaker, and was pressed into service to
persuade a young Mountjoy apprentice named Stephen Belott that he
should marry the only Mountjoy daughter, Mary.  This mission,
according to testimony taken in 1612 on default of the dowery, the
Bard duly undertook.
 
Is it just barely possible, if not at all probable, that the form
of the inducement to marry by the Bard was the Sonnet, and that
several of these became associated with the canon of Shakespeare
some seven years later?
 
If not, isn't idle gossip fun, though?
 

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(2)------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Date: 		Wed, 15 Jan 1992 16:04:47 -0500
From: 		
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  (Tim Bowden)
		SHAKSPER%clovis.FIDONET.ORG@husc6.BITNET (SHAKSPER)
Subject: 	400-year-old Slight!
 
This one has intrigued me, and I thought my friends here would
be able to offer insight if anyone could.  It concerns one Ben
Jonson, and specifically a comment he passed, presumably around
1630, in his posthumously-published _Timber, or Discoveries_.
 
He remarks on the comment of the players on Shakespeare's speed
of composition and lack of editing, and sees that as a fault.
 
"Many times he fell into those things could not escape laughter:
as when he said in the person of Caesar, one speaking to him
`Caesar, thou dost me wrong!'-he replied, `Caesar did never
wrong but with just cause,' and such like, which were
ridiculous."
 
Now, the scene in _Julius Caesar_ does not read like that, and
has not since probably the folio edition of 1623.  In the scene
in question, it is Metellus Cimber pleading for his banished
brother, rather than himself, to a Caesar `as constant as the
Northern Star' who would have them all
 
  "Know, Caesar doth not wrong, nor without cause
   Will he be satisfied."
 
Seems supremely logical.  The question is:  was the passage
mis-read by a hyper-critical Jonson (had many conceptual
differences with the Bard, beginning with Shakespeare's
departure from Classical regimen), or a brilliant re-
editing by the Poet after an earlier chiding by Ben?
 

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(3)--------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Date: 		Thu, 16 Jan 1992 09:53:00 -0500
From: 		
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Subject: 3.0011 R: Elizabethan Portraiture
Comment: 	Re: SHK 3.0011 R: Elizabethan Portraiture
 
For Richard Abrams: the Shorleyker book is listed in RSTC as item no.
21826, published 1624, 'But once published before'. The title begins
"A schole-house, for the needle." In the STC period, it appears to have
been three, perhaps four times printed.
 
    David Bank
    <
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