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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Elizabeth's Nicknames
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.058  Monday, 29 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Francois Laroque <
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        Date:   Saturday, 27 Mar 1999 11:12:18 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0544 Re: Elizabeth's Nicknames

[2]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Mar 1999 18:57:10 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0544 Re: Elizabeth's Nicknames

[3]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Mar 1999 19:54:39 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0544 Re: Elizabeth's Nicknames


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Francois Laroque <
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Date:           Saturday, 27 Mar 1999 11:12:18 -0500
Subject: 10.0544 Re: Elizabeth's Nicknames
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0544 Re: Elizabeth's Nicknames

Just a random suggestion as to what 'spirit' may have meant in reference
to Burghley.  Wouldn't that nickname refer to his all-seeing eye in the
kingdom, i.e. to some ubiquitous network of spies ?

Francois Laroque

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Mar 1999 18:57:10 -0500
Subject: 10.0544 Re: Elizabeth's Nicknames
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0544 Re: Elizabeth's Nicknames

Spiritus in Latin means "inspiration."

According to Richard A. Spears' "Slang and Euphemism," spirit in the
1600s meant "semen," "mettle," "spunk."

I guess he bucked up her courage when she needed it.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Mar 1999 19:54:39 +0000
Subject: 10.0544 Re: Elizabeth's Nicknames
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0544 Re: Elizabeth's Nicknames

>I, for one, would like to know definitive source references of
>Elizabeth's nicknames.  The Glenda Jackson series also points out that
>she called Burghley her 'spirit' and the Duke of Anjou her 'frog.'  The
>latter incident suggests these names were not given lightly but had
>classical allusions and cultural perceptions tied to them.  Such
>references might even lead to gossipy topical references in
>Shakespeare's plays.
>
>Karen Coley
>
>>I would find it very useful indeed if the various reporters of
>>Elizabeth's fascinating nicknaming habits would provide specific
>>references to the texts that document them. The huge array of period
>>documents of the kind collected, say, in Winwood's Memorials are very
>>hard to search, and items of this kind are seldom indexed in secondary
>>sources. Specific references to letters from A to B, dated XYZ, found in
>>Collection Q, or Work W, or whatever, would be of immense use to many of us.

>Frank Whigham

It is true that secondary sources seldom give references for things like
this. Did she call Burghley her "Spirit" from first to last, or only for
a few years? Was this kind of nicknaming a fancy of her youth, or did
she continue with it?  I don't recall reading of any cute nicknames for
Essex, Southampton, or Pembroke, the lads of her latter day Court.

Questions of this sort can't be answered without the kind of research
that only biographers or historians give their subjects. But I will keep
it in mind as I read, and if I come across anything more substantive I
will surely pass it along.

Stephanie Hughes
 

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