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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: February ::
Bilingual Rulers of England
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0417  Thursday, 12 February 2004

[1]     From:   Michael Egan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Feb 2004 07:52:01 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0397 Bilingual Rulers of England

[2]     From:   David Crosby <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Feb 2004 12:01:31 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0397 Bilingual Rulers of England


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Egan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 11 Feb 2004 07:52:01 -1000
Subject: 15.0397 Bilingual Rulers of England
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0397 Bilingual Rulers of England

No, as the context shows, I meant his great-grandfather, Edward III.
Homer nods.

Shakespeare too, actually. In 1 Henry VI, Mortimer recalls Richard II's
deposition and describes him as Bolingbroke's nephew:

Henry the Fourth, grandfather to this king [i.e., Henry VI]
Deposed his nephew Richard, (1 Henry VI, II.v.64)

However, Richard was not Henry IV's nephew but his cousin. It was John
of Gaunt who was the King's uncle, and of course it's he who is the
principal deposer in 1 Richard II (aka Woodstock)  but only in that
play. It's a subtle pointer to the true authorship of the anonymous drama.

--Michael Egan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Crosby <
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Date:           Wednesday, 11 Feb 2004 12:01:31 -0600
Subject: 15.0397 Bilingual Rulers of England
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0397 Bilingual Rulers of England

The discussion of whether Henry V was bilingual has not yet touched, to
my memory, on the question of what kind of French he might have spoken.
Almost certainly it would have been Anglo-French, a sub-dialect of
Norman French, which itself had, by the early 15th century, lost most of
its prestige to the Parisian French of the Ile de France.

If Henry had addressed Katharine or any of the other French characters
in the play he might have been ridiculed as hopelessly rustic.

David Crosby

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