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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: February ::
Re: Henry VI Part 1 Questions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0310  Wednesday, 19 February 2003

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 Feb 2003 14:16:36 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions

[2]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 Feb 2003 09:39:10 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions

[3]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 Feb 2003 11:06:14 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions

[4]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 Feb 2003 17:27:30 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions

[5]     From:   Lea Luecking Frost <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 Feb 2003 14:24:23 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions

[6]     From:   Edward Brown <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Feb 2003 17:37:01 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Monday, 17 Feb 2003 14:16:36 -0000
Subject: 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions

"I believe the article claimed that Shakespeare elevated the importance
of these rose symbols, and was responsible for the strife between those
two factions subsequently being called 'The War of the Roses'.  Does
anyone know whether this is accurate or not?"

There is no record of the conflicts being styled "The Wars of the Roses"
by contemporaries. I gather that the first such reference appears in a
novel by that inveterate generator of British Historical Myth, Walter
Scott: Anne of Geierstein (1829), Chapter VII.

"I gather that the title "Dauphin", or "Dolphin" as it was probably
pronounced in Elizabethan England, means in French both the heir
apparent to the French crown and a porpoise-like mammal.  Does anyone
know the historical or mythological or heraldic linkage between the
French Prince and the ocean mammal?"

Guy IX, Count of Vienne, was the first heir to the French throne to take
the title, and he wore a dolphin as his cognizance. Iconographically,
the dolphin had always symbolized love of the people, or good will to
one's fellow man, and such.

martin

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Monday, 17 Feb 2003 09:39:10 -0600
Subject: 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions

Dave Johnson queries,

>I gather that the title "Dauphin", or "Dolphin" as it was probably
>pronounced in Elizabethan England, means in French both the heir
>apparent to the French crown and a porpoise-like mammal.  Does anyone
>know the historical or mythological or heraldic linkage between the
>French Prince and the ocean mammal?

The OED informs us that the term meant, before it became the title of
the French royal heir, the chief nobleman of a region, especially
Vienne. The family that held this latter title used the word as a
surname and bequeathed it to the royal line on condition that it become
the title of the senior prince. Why this noble family would identify
themselves as small toothed whales, though, unless they used the figure
as their heraldic sign, I cannot imagine.

Where, like Arion on the dolphin's back,
I saw him hold acquaintance with the sea.

But I wouldn't push this too far in light of *King John*.

Cheers,
don

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Monday, 17 Feb 2003 11:06:14 -0500
Subject: 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions

Dave Johnson <
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 > asks,

>An article I recall reading argued that the red and white roses, though
>symbols historically related to the Lancaster and the
>Plantagenet-Mortimer-York factions, were not much stressed during the
>wars between those factions.  I believe the article claimed that
>Shakespeare elevated the importance of these rose symbols, and was
>responsible for the strife between those two factions subsequently being
>called "The War of the Roses".  Does anyone know whether this is
>accurate or not?

Apparently the white rose of York is real, but the red rose of Lancaster
is late legend (perhaps even a Tudor invention), though not so late as
Shakespeare.  I suppose Shakespeare contributed to the popularity of the
name, but it is not his doing.

>I gather that the title "Dauphin", or "Dolphin" as it was probably
>pronounced in Elizabethan England, means in French both the heir
>apparent to the French crown and a porpoise-like mammal.  Does anyone
>know the historical or mythological or heraldic linkage between the
>French Prince and the ocean mammal?

There is a complex relationship among the Dauphin, heraldic dolphins,
and the ancient province of Dauphine.  See
http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/fr-dauph.html.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Monday, 17 Feb 2003 17:27:30 -0000
Subject: 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions

Red and White Roses.

This is discussed by Edward Burns in the introduction to his Arden 3
edition (2000, pp. 57-60).  The scene of choosing red and white roses in
the Temple Garden was invented by Shakespeare (or whoever wrote that
scene).  B.J.  Sokal has apparently linked it to a refurbishment of
Inner Temple gardens in 1591.  Burns suggests a possible alchemical
reference.  The Folio texts of 2H6 and 3H6 do not mention the wearing of
roses by the opposing factions.  1H6 was probably written for The Rose
playhouse.

Dauphin or Dolphin.

Dauphin was a personal given name (meaning dolphin, although this seems
fishy to me!)  It was popular amongst the Counts of Vienne.  The
frequent use by them of this rare name led to a belief that it was a
title, and the territory of the Dauphin of Vienne became known as the
Dauphine.  When the territories (and the title) were inherited by the
Kings of France, it became the heriditary title of the eldest son of the
king.  The heraldic symbol or badge was, of course, a dolphin.

In his edition, Burns uses the spelling Dolphin.  This provoked an
objection/disclaimer from the General Editors (pp. 296-298), on the
grounds that this would preclude the alternative sixteenth-century
pronunciation 'daw-fin'

John Briggs

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lea Luecking Frost <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 17 Feb 2003 14:24:23 -0600
Subject: 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions

>I gather that the title "Dauphin", or "Dolphin" as it was
>probably
>pronounced in Elizabethan England, means in French both
>the heir
>apparent to the French crown and a porpoise-like mammal.
>Does anyone
>know the historical or mythological or heraldic linkage
>between the
>French Prince and the ocean mammal?

Says Edward Burns, editor of the latest Arden edition, justifying his
decision to retain the "Dolphin" spelling:

"In both senses the word was generally spelled with an 'l' in French and
English in the sixteenth century. The dolphin was the heraldic symbol of
the Comte de Vienne, a province on the Rhone, up which, presumably,
dolphins might at that time have swum. In 1349 the impoverished holder
of the title sold it to the King of France, Philip IV. From then on it
became the title of the heir to the French throne" (Appendix 1, p. 290).
He cites the Grand Larousse Encyclopedique as a source of this
information.

Still looking for a cite re the rose symbolism; I know I've encountered
the same idea many times...

Regards,
Lea

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Brown <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Feb 2003 17:37:01 EST
Subject: 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0301 Henry VI Part 1 Questions

The title comes from the heraldic imagery of the "Dauphin de Viennois",
during the Medieval period a prince of the Holy Roman Empire. The region
Dauphine borders Italy and centers around the towns of Vienne, about 15
miles south of Lyon, which was established by Julius Caesar in 47 BC on
the site of the main settlement of the Allobroges; Grenoble; and
Valence.

The province was sold by its childless Burgundian prince, Humbert II, to
King Jean II of France in 1349, with the condition that it be held by
the King's eldest son. The future Charles V ("The Wise") was the first
French crown prince to hold it, and it was ruled independently of the
crown until incorporated into France proper in 1457. Charles X (r.
1824-1830) was the last bearer of the title. Thus I would say it was
very much akin to Prince of Wales for the English.

The Dauphin's arms were quartered France and Dauphine (dolphins and can
be seen to good effect in the costuming in Branagh's film of Henry V.

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