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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
Lady Norton or Henry Wriothesley
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0762  Friday, 22 April 2005

From:           Ivan Lupic <
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Date:           Friday, 22 Apr 2005 13:24:46 +0200
Subject:        Lady Norton or Henry Wriothesley

Dear All,

In their recent book on Shakespeare's Sonnets (Oxford, 2004) Paul
Edmondson and Stanley Wells reproduce a portrait of Henry Wriothesley,
third Earl of Southampton (p. 76). The accompanying note reads: "The
poet addresses Sonnet 20 to 'the Master Mistris' of his 'passion',
suggesting androgyny. This portrait, believed for centuries to depict a
woman, Lady Norton, was only in 2002 identified as a portrait of the
young Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton, to whom Shakespeare
dedicated *Venus and Adonis* in 1593, and *The Rape of Lucrece* in
1594." They say nothing about this in the main text, as far as I
remember, and I'm not quite sure what the readers are expected to make
of it. The portrait is in the Bridgeman Art Library
(http://www.bridgeman.co.uk/, image ID: ACS 175231), but there seems to
be no information there about this long-standing mistake. Where could
one read more about it, especially the reasons informing the reassessment?

Thanks.

Ivan Lupic
University of Zagreb

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