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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: March ::
Re: Salic Law
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0323.  Thursday, 7 March 1997.

[1]     From:   Sean K. Lawrence <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 05 Mar 1997 18:56:11 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.035  Qs: Salique Law

[2]     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Thursday, 6 Mar 1997 14:55:33 -0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.035 Qs: Salique Law


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean K. Lawrence <
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Date:           Wednesday, 05 Mar 1997 18:56:11 -0800
Subject: 8.035  Qs: Salique Law
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.035  Qs: Salique Law

> Does anyone have, or can anyone point me to the particulars of the Law
> Salique which Henry V invoked to justify his invasion and claim to
> France?  I have had difficulty tracking this information down.  Thank
> you.

I believe that the entire text is "In terram Salicam mulieres ne
succedant", and is given by Canterbury (1.2.38 of the Oxford, edited by
Gary Taylor).  Henry does not, however, base his justification for the
invasion of France on this quibble, but rather on inheritance through
the female line, the very thing that the Law Salique forbids.  His claim
therefore necessitates the demolition of the law, which Canterbury
proceeds to do:  Salic land is not France, but part of Germany "'twixt
Elbe and Saale'" (1.2.52); the law could not have been formed by
Pharamond, who died 421 years before the French possessed this piece of
German territory (1.2.57-58); and the house of Valois itself holds
France by female succession.

I have no idea where this idea that Henry is basing his claim on the
Salic law comes from, but it's faithfully repeated by a number of recent
critics.  If Henry "invokes" this law though, he does so only to
demolish it, so that he can base his own claim on inheritance through
the female line.

Cheers,
Sean Lawrence.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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Date:           Thursday, 6 Mar 1997 14:55:33 -0000
Subject: 8.035 Qs: Salique Law
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.035 Qs: Salique Law

For Michael O'Neill,

I presume that you've seen T.W.Craik's footnote in his New Arden edition
which refers back to Holinshed.  Holinshed refers to "French  glossers"
though they are not mentioned there.  Gary Taylor in his edition refers
readers to the apocryphal Edward III where Salic law is also discussed.

Cheers
John Drakakis
 

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