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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: August ::
Re: F as Acting Script; Mountjoy Family; Turn-of-c.
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0608.  Monday, 12 August 1996.

(1)     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Thursday, 8 Aug 96 22:09:31 GMT
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0603  Folio as Acting Script

(2)     From:   David J. Kathman <
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        Date:   Friday, 9 Aug 1996 18:59:21 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0605  The Mountjoy Family

(3)     From:   Chris J. Fassler <
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        Date:   Monday, 12 Aug 1996 09:41:55 -0400
        Subj:   Turn-of-century texts II


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Thursday, 8 Aug 96 22:09:31 GMT
Subject: 7.0603  Folio as Acting Script
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0603  Folio as Acting Script

[Editor's Note: I inadvertently deleted Gabriel Egan's comment on this topic
Friday.  Below is the posting as it should have appeared.  --HMC]

>I find myself still intrigued, if unconvinced, by the suggestion
>that the Folio represents an acting script.  Are there people out there --
>actors, directors, teachers, etc. -- who still hold strongly to this notion

The series of Shakespeare play texts called "Shakespeare's Globe Acting
Editions" is based on this fallacy, expounded in their introductions.

Gabriel Egan

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David J. Kathman <
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Date:           Friday, 9 Aug 1996 18:59:21 +0100
Subject: 7.0605  The Mountjoy Family
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0605  The Mountjoy Family

[Editor's Note: Tomorrow, I will be moving the SUN work station on which
SHAKSPER resides to my office.  This move will give me greater physical
control of the machine, resulting I hope in few anomolies.  The machine's
address will remain the same -- ws.BowieState.edu -- the IP address will,
however, be changed.  This change will be completely transparent to members
of SHAKSPER.  --HMC]

I tried sending this the other day, but cyberspace gremlins seem to have eaten
it up.  Since somebody else just posted a query about the Mountjoys, I'm giving
it another try.

**************************

Patrick Gillespie asked:

>I recall reading somewhere, it may have been in the Shakespeare Quarterly, that
>recent evidence was discovered showing where Shakespeare had lived, for an
>unspecified period of time, while in London. I think the article said he had
>lived with a French couple? -- the husband was a jeweler? I just can't recall
>where I read it. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

You're thinking of the Bellott-Mountjoy lawsuit.  It was discovered by Charles
and Hulda Wallace in 1909, which I wouldn't exactly call "recent"; it's in all
the standard biographical works, such as Chambers, Schoenbaum, etc.  The
Wallaces announced the find in an article in *Harper's* in 1910 called "New
Shakespeare Discoveries: Shakespeare as a Man among Men", and published
transcripts of all the documents later that year in Nebraska University Studies
10:4.  The couple Shakespeare lived with was Christopher and Mary Mountjoy, who
were French Huguenots; Christopher was not a jeweler but a tiremaker, a maker
of elaborate ornamental headdresses (made of gold and silver thread and studded
with jewels) for well-to-do ladies. These ladies included Queen Anne, wife of
King James, who once paid Mary Mountjoy the huge sum of 59 pounds for tires she
and her husband had made. Their house was at the northeast corner of Monkwell
and Silver Streets, in the northwest corner of the old city walls near
Cripplegate.  (This house, along with the entire neighborhood, was destroyed in
the Great Fire of 1666).

Shakespeare met the Mountjoys around 1602 and was living with them at least in
1604, and possibly for some time before and after.  We know this because of a
lawsuit filed in 1612 by Christopher Mountjoy's former apprentice, Stephen
Bellott, who had married the Mountjoys' daughter Mary. The details can be found
in Schoenbaum or any decent biography, but basically the dispute arose over
money:  Bellott had expected a marriage settlement of 60 pounds, but Mountjoy
only gave him 10 pounds plus a bunch of crappy household items, and over a
series of years further bad blood between the two eventually led to the
lawsuit.  Shakespeare was called to testify because he had been employed by the
Mountjoys as a matchmaker back in 1604, to try to persuade Bellott (who they
saw at the time as a good catch) to marry their daughter.  However, in his
deposition Will couldn't remember exactly what marriage settlement had been
promised, and since nobody else could either, the case was referred for
arbitration to the French church in London, which concluded that both sides
were acting like children but awarded Bellott 20 nobles.

Shakespeare most likely met the Mountjoys through his publisher and fellow
Stratfordian Richard Field, who with his French wife Jacqueline had moved to
Wood Street, a block away from the Mountjoys, in 1600.  It's interesting to
note that numerous technical terms from tiremaking are sprinkled through
Shakespeare's plays written after 1604, suggesting that he had learned
something about his landlord's craft.

Dave Kathman

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris J. Fassler <
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Date:           Monday, 12 Aug 1996 09:41:55 -0400
Subject:        Turn-of-century texts II

Sorry, David Evett, I knew that first list was missing something.  More
suggestions about possible materials for a turn of the century course:

--Francis Bacon, essays
--wills and other documents sometimes included in biographies, e.g. those of
  Burghley, Shakespeare, Sidney, Elizabeth
--John Nichols, ed., progresses of Elizabeth and James
--a video of Jonson's _Oberon_ produced for the Ohio Shakespeare Conference
 

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