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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: October ::
Re: Blond Hair and Blue Eyes
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1844  Thursday, 28 October 1999.

[1]     From:   Martin Green <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Oct 1999 12:13:32 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1833 Blond Hair and Blue Eyes?

[2]     From:   Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 07:53:19 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1833 Blond Hair and Blue Eyes?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Green <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Oct 1999 12:13:32 -0400
Subject: 10.1833 Blond Hair and Blue Eyes?
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1833 Blond Hair and Blue Eyes?

Portraits of the third earl of Southampton, Henry Wriothesley, in his
maturity, depict him with brown, or maybe auburn hair. The Hilliard
portrait of Southampton aetat 20 (1594) arguably shows somewhat lighter
hair. Henry's grandfather, Thomas, 1st earl of Southampton of the
Wriothesley line, was described by classmate John Leland as having  (at
the age of 17) golden hair.  The color of Henry's eyes is not clearly
identifiable from the portraits I've seen; it could be hazel, blue or
brown.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 07:53:19 +1000
Subject: 10.1833 Blond Hair and Blue Eyes?
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1833 Blond Hair and Blue Eyes?

Well...the 1974 Riverside Shakespeare has portraits of them both.  The
painting of Pembroke is by Isaac Oliver and resides at the Folger.  It
looks rather like a miniature, and it also looks like it has faded over
the years, so any ultimate judgements about hair and eye color are
perhaps questionable, but it appears that he is represented as having
blue eyes, with reddish brown hair.  The portrait of Southampton is the
famous Tower commemorative portrait with the cat.  The hair is light
brown, and the eyes are light, but at least in this reproduction you
really can't tell if they are supposed to be blue, gray, green or
hazel.  (The cat is black and white with yellow-green eyes!).

If this goes to the matter of "fair" and "black" in the sonnets, it
would be interesting to know whether the "young man" (young men?) was
literally fair in coloring, or whether the sonnets construct his
fairness conventionally or in opposition to the darkness of the female
recipient of the later sonnets.

You probably have the Riverside on your shelf, and probably were
interested in whether anyone had more conclusive or authoritative
information...but, if not, here it is for what it's worth.  Good luck in
your inquiry.

Cheers,
Karen Peterson-Kranz
Dept. of English & Applied Linguistics
University of Guam
 

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