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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: October ::
Re: Essex/Bolingbroke
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1857  Tuesday, 3 October 2000.

[1]     From:   Hugh Grady <
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        Date:   Monday, 2 Oct 2000 13:58:08 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1850 Re: Essex/Bolingbroke

[2]     From:   Patrick Buckridge <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 03 Oct 2000 15:57:28 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1850 Re: Essex/Bolingbroke


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hugh Grady <
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Date:           Monday, 2 Oct 2000 13:58:08 -0400
Subject: 11.1850 Re: Essex/Bolingbroke
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1850 Re: Essex/Bolingbroke

Do you mean Everard Guilpin's 1598 comment on "great Felix" [interpreted
as an allusion to Essex] in a satirical work, "Skialethia":  "Signior
Machiavel Taught him this mumming trick, with courtesy to entrench
himself with popularity"? Historians always have the advantage on us
literary and cultural interpreters that they actually spend their time
studying history, so I'm always interested in learning from them/you!
But I wouldn't assume that opinion was so polarized as you say, and
Essex strikes me from 4 centuries distance as a figure whose instability
and foolishness would have argued for caution in supporting him
regardless of one's other sympathies--although doubtless many overlooked
those qualities in wishful thinking, possibly a well-known dramatist of
the era named Shakespeare. But maybe I didn't quite catch your point.

Best,
Hugh Grady

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patrick Buckridge <
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Date:           Tuesday, 03 Oct 2000 15:57:28 +1000
Subject: 11.1850 Re: Essex/Bolingbroke
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1850 Re: Essex/Bolingbroke

Hugh Grady wrote:

>>it is not at all
>>certain that Shakespeare's play of Richard II was the main vehicle for
>>his identification.  Elizabeth was clearly much more upset with the
>>luckless lawyer and humanist (of Tacitean/Machiavellian inclinations),
>>John Hayward

Nonetheless, according to Essex's biographers, Essex's follower Sir
Gelly (or Gilly) Meyrick actually walked (or rode) from Essex House
across to the Bankside to commission the play on the eve of the
Rebellion, in order to demonstrate to the populace that it was possible
to depose a sovereign.  The Chamberlain's Men were apparently reluctant
to perform it because it was an old play, but I suppose professional
actors can't be choosers where there's a handsome commission involved.
So I don't think there can be too much doubt what Essex thought its
significance was. And we know what Elizabeth thought, because she told
Lambarde in the famous exclamation.

Pat Buckridge
 

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