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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: July ::
Re: Winter's Tale
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1793  Wednesday, 18 July 2001

From:           Stevie Gamble <
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Date:           Tuesday, 17 Jul 2001 15:18:23 EDT
Subject: 12.1780 Winter's Tale
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1780 Winter's Tale

>Sorry to be a pest, but I'm about to be away from my email for a month
>and I wanted to mention that in one of my papers on The Winter's Tale I
>argue that Autolycus is identified in part as a fertility god because
>among his wares are "pins and poking sticks of steel, what maidens lack
>from head to heel..."

Well, surrounded as I am by pins, and worried as I am about the
technology which failed to replace the poking sticks, I suppose I should
stop worrying about recreating 16th century costume for Hamlet! The
Musical!, and start worrying about the staggering degree of ignorance of
the construction of 16th century dress, and the staggering degree of
ignorance as to the non-existence of fertility deities in 16th century
England, simultaneously demonstrated in this post. I grimly endured the
nonsense about Lammas fairs, but this is too much...

 For anyone interested in the facts, rather than the fantasies, may I
commend to you: Janet Arnold's work, and, in particular _Queen
Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlocked_ and _Lost from Her Majesties Back_, and
Ronald Hutton's work, and, in particular, _The Pagan Religions of the
British Isles_ ,
 _The Rise and Fall of Merry England_, and _The Stations of the Sun; A
History of the Ritual Year in Britain_.

And now I must get back to the pins...

Best wishes,
Stevie Gamble

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