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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: June ::
Re: Miss-Begetting
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0477.  Wednesday, 14 June 1995.
 
(1)     From:   David Crosby <
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        Date:   Monday, 12 Jun 1995 21:59:47 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0454 Re: Miss-Begetting
 
(2)     From:   Helen Vella Bonavita <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Jun 1995 10:05:23 +0800 (WST)
        Subj:   Re: Miss-Begetting, legitimacy
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Crosby <
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Date:           Monday, 12 Jun 1995 21:59:47 -0400
Subject: 6.0454 Re: Miss-Begetting
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0454 Re: Miss-Begetting
 
Robert Dennis writes:
 
>Myth is a way of dealing with data and ideas for which we have no other
>vocabulary.  An excellent contemporary example of myth is the cosmology of the
>Big Bang.  This is entirely a mythical expression in contemporary terminology,
>of events for which we simply have no adequate vocabulary.  Possibly we do not
>even have a glimmer of the right mechanisms.  But the myth (the Big Bang
>theory) expresses what we _do_ observe and what we interpret as reality from
>>our equations.  That particular myth has won not a few Nobel Prizes for good
>myth-tellers. One might add evolution theory on the list of very-strongly-held
>contemporary myths.
 
I would just like to second Bob's gentle corrective.  Too often we lose sight
of the myths that permit us to think about our world and the rituals that help
us celebrate it.  Competitive team sports being the ritual most expressive of
our belief in the Darwinian myth that those best adapted to their environment
survive through competition.  We might add the myth of the marketplace (goods,
services, ideas) to the list of those informing modern culture.
 
David Crosby
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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Vella Bonavita <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Jun 1995 10:05:23 +0800 (WST)
Subject:        Re: Miss-Begetting, legitimacy
 
The problem of legitimacy in the case where the marriage has taken place after
the birth of children (or child) is that by common law, the marriage does not
render the children legitimate. By church law, however, it does. I don't have
the reference on me right now, but Bracton discusses it in great detail, and in
1296 (I think) there was actually a council where it was suggested that the
church ruling on the subject be accepted into common law; this was however
rejected, and as a result court christian was simply permitted to rule on
whether a marriage was or was not valid, rather than on legitimacy. The most
notable case of legitimation was of course the Beaufort children, but even then
it required a separate act of parliament, as well as the marriage of Swynford
and John of Gaunt.
 
In any case, as far as Edmund goes, I do agree that it's pretty plain that he
and Edgar do not share a mother. What does happen is that if Edmund is younger
than Edgar, he must have been born in adultery, rather than in simple
fornication - these are two different cases of bastardy, and bring with them
different legal penalties. Also, of course, it compounds Gloucester's guilt.
 
Hope this is of interest,
Helen Vella Bonavita
 

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