Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: August ::
Roses
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1281  Tuesday, 2 August 2005

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 01 Aug 2005 12:53:36 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1272 Roses

[2]     From:   Rainbow Saari <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Aug 2005 05:01:33 +1200
        Subj:   Re; SHK 16.1250 Roses

[3]     From:   Richard Kennedy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 1 Aug 2005 13:28:27 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1272 Roses

[4]     From:   Martin Green <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 02 Aug 2005 01:55:14 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1272 Roses

[5]     From:   Alan Horn <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Aug 2005 09:50:49 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1272 Roses


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 01 Aug 2005 12:53:36 -0400
Subject: 16.1272 Roses
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1272 Roses

In the BBC series "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" the name was pronounced
ROTHislee.  It sounded reasonable to my ears.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rainbow Saari <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Aug 2005 05:01:33 +1200
Subject: 16.1250 Roses
Comment:        Re; SHK 16.1250 Roses

Richard Kennedy writes that he has been in email conversation with
Martin Green about the pronunciation of Wriothesley. He has now read Mr
Green's paper. I find it rather extraordinary that he offers us again,
as supposed phonetic evidence in support of Pollard's pronunciation
Risley, the same epitaph he quoted previously:

 >STC19867 led me to an item that might settle the matter, not just to
 >take the word of the DNB. It is an epitaph of some 110 lines upon the
 >death of Henry's father, Lord Henry the 2nd Earl of Southampton. Within
 >a decorated border, the poem in black letter, the Earl is honored under
 >this heading:
 >
 >"An Epitaph on the death, of the Right honorable and vertuous Lord Henry
 >WRISLEY, the Noble Earle of Southampton.."

I note that he chooses to shorten this 'evidence', so that it does no
longer includes the follow on text " who lieth interred at Touchfeelde
..." ( often spelled in that time as Titchfield, and as Tychefeld by the
originator of the name Wriothesley). I ask again, Mr. Kennedy, if the
letter 'i' or 'y' in the name Titchfield was pronounced by the Epitaph
writer as a sound he spelled as 'ou', how can we be sure that the 'i' in
that WRISLEY was pronounced then as we pronounce it now?

He goes on to say: "Henry's Wriothesley's father is eulogized,
phonetically, as Risley, just as A.F. Pollard said, which should be good
enough for his son as well." He then states that Green "writes, 'The
correct conclusion. is that the varying spellings of these two names
establish that >>both<< Risely and Wriothesley were pronounced Rosely.
'"(155)

He has shortened the last sentence he quotes, which is in full 'The
correct conclusion, as I shall now show, is that the varying spellings
of these two names establish that >>both<< Risely and Wriothesley were
pronounced >Rosely.< ' The 'two names' are those of a Thomas Risely and
Lord Wriothsly ( James Wriothesley, Lord Southampton ) both often
recorded as present at the same meeting. Green >does< show us how this
can be so, with a great deal of credible, contemporary phonetic
evidence.  Kennedy's statement that ' the question stands as uncertain
as ever, phonetically speaking' makes me wonder if we've read the same
article!

Speaking of Green he adds " He writes, '.we have no evidence that
Wriothesley actually was or could have been pronounce Rosely. (138)'  "
This quote is taken entirely out of context; Kennedy appears to have
missunderstood Green, who actually says:

'Although the reason put forward by Skipwith and Shackford for
Wriothesley's being pronounced >Rosely<---that it would infuse meaning
into a metaphor otherwise trite and unworthy of Shakespeare--- is to
many people, myself included, very persuasive, it has not persuaded
those persons who argue that the  Rose imagery is nothing but a
conventional symbol of youthful beauty, or a reference to the "Idea" or
type of beauty in a Platonic  sense, and that, in any event, we have no
evidence that Wriothesley actually was or could have been pronounced
 >Rosely< ( although they themselves, as we shall see, whatever be the
pronunciation, other than >Rosely<, that they use, do so on the basis of
no evidence whatsoever).

It makes no sense to me that the originator of the name Wriothesley, the
Garter King of Arms Thomas Wrythe, would add the letter 'o' to the
extended version of the family name if he did not intend an 'o' to be
pronounced in the name.

John Anstis, himself Garter King of Arms, wrote of Thomas Wrythe (in
1724) " that he disliked the shortness of it[ his name]....and therefore
augmented it with the high Sound of three Syllables, which added nothing
to the Smoothness in pronunciation, and after some variations in the
spelling, he at last settled upon Wriothesley..." ( Wriothesley's Roses,
Green, p.27) Anstis was writing about 200 years after the event, and so
cannot claim any certain knowlege of Wrythe's thought processes.It is
of interest that Anstis read the name as containing three syllables (
though that can give us no assurance that it was not generally
pronounced in two). Because the altered name contains the letter 'o', I
speculate that these were Rye--oh--slee, not Rye--se--lee or Rizz--se-lee.

Kennedy asks an interesting question; why are there are no examples of
the name supposedly heard as Rosely spelled Rosely? My thought on that,
perhaps ridiculously simple,  is that those who wrote it down (in
whichever official document) were doing their best to record accurately
  the surname of an Earl or Lord that actually does begin with the
letter 'W'.

All the best,
Rainbow Saari

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Kennedy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 1 Aug 2005 13:28:27 -0700
Subject: 16.1272 Roses
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1272 Roses

Roses Part 2.

Martin Green says Rosely, and I say Risley, and we might call the whole
thing off except for the somewhat founded claim that the so-called 'fair
youth' of the Sonnets was Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton.
  Martin makes it plain that this is his concern.

"The contention that the name is pronounced Rosely is based PRIMARILY
upon the premise that the Rose imagery of the Sonnets has some
significance beyond what is readily apparent." (139) (my caps RK)

Martin then speculates on a rather intimate relation, not "readily
apparent", between the poet and the young Lord.  Green says, ".the
entreaty in the

Sonnets to "thou, my Rose" (Sonnet 109) was a readily perceived allusion
to the specific human being to whom Shakespeare had once dedicated love
without end." (Lucrece dedication)

Martin Green evidently supposes that the first 126 sonnets express a
requited love affair between the two men, I don't know how else to read
this passage: "The course of this love, however, like that of most
loves, does not run smooth, but is marked by hurt, jealousy,
recriminations, and reconciliations, all of which trials and emotions.."
etc. (133)  Green suggests that "their relationship was more intimate
than merely that of patron and client, although how intimate, we do not
know." (135)

That's true, but if we suppose that there is sexuality lurking in the
sonnets, we'll have to get used to the idea of the Stratford man rolling
in the hay with the Third Earl of Southampton when not overcome with
hurt, jealousy, recriminations, and such other lover to lover emotional
baggage that loads up the Sonnets.  Martin Green is also the author of
"Wriothesley' s Roses,' which book is featured and sold at several gay
and lesbian web sites.

In short, or else I misunderstand entirely what Martin is getting at, he
is proposing, through a gloss darkly, a homosexual relationship between
the two men.  And in order to put this in place, we must believe that
the Rose of the sonnets is taken from the pronunciation of Wriothesley,
who would then be the "beauties Rose" of the first Sonnet, and most all
the other Roses in the poems.

That's his thesis. Green hopes to make clear "beyond cavil that the Rose
and the friend are one and the same." (137) I agree, but I don't think
that "beauties Rose" is a man.

Nicholas Delius (1813 - 1888) edited a 7 vol. German edition of
Shakespeare (1854 - 1860) and he comments on the first 17 sonnets, being
himself a poet as well. He thought these so-called "marriage sonnets"
were challenged by common sense.  He wrote:

"In order to persuade a friend to marry, many kinds of reasons could
profitably be urged:  concern for his own  moral and material welfare in
the founding of a domes tic circle or in the respected position of a
husband and father; the desirable possession of a feminine personality,
distinguished for beauty, wit, birth, or property,  which the poet
might, with this intention, sketch in the  most alluring colors;
finally, if the friend were an Earl  of Southampton or a Pembroke, a
reference to  "Noblesse oblige", -- to the obligation not to let a noble
  race die out, but to progress its distinction.  Of all these and
similar grounds with which a man of flesh and blood might persuade a
real friend to marriage, we find in all these sonnets not one so much as
touched upon, and instead of them only this one argument, discussed even
to satiety: you are beautiful, and must  therefore care for the
preservation of your beauty  through reproduction, -- an argument which
in Story-land and addressed to the coy Adonis by lovesick Venus, might
find some justification, but which could  never, in the actual relations
of life, have been seriously advanced by a reasonable man such as we
take Shakespeare to have been, in order to persuade another-it is to be
hoped also reasonable-man to marry. "

The whole theme of the first 17 is that the beauty of the "fair youth"
will not last forever, therefore the "tender churl" must get married
before age and ugliness set in, and have a baby, otherwise all
remembrance of that "fair form" and "sweet self" will be lost forever.
If there is more, Delius couldn't find it, nor can I. What, these first
17 sonnets to a teenage boy?  If so, this "tender churl" was a man made
of cake and sprinkles, and the poet was playing with him like a pastry
cook, and, if Martin Green is right, Shakespeare was pecker-whipped by
the boy for 126 sonnets.

Oh, the "hurt, jealousy, recriminations," etc. that tore the poet's
soul, we have it all, but I say it wasn't a teenage boy who called forth
such sweet-meats of poetry.  I say that the "beauties Rose" of Sonnet 1,
refers to a woman.  Suggesting that these poems were written to young
Wriothesley, lover to lover, would mean that Shakespeare was either
nobbing about the great halls of power with the 3rd Earl of Southampton,
or skulking upon midnight assignations with the cupcake of his delight.
The furthest reach of imagination can't grasp it. I say cherchez la femme.

There are phrases such as "master-mistress" and that "prick" in Sonnet
20 to decide the thrust of this love affair and to prove out the gender
of the so-called Fair Youth, but as usual we hit the wall of Elizabethan
double-talk. To date, there have been six million books written about
the Sonnets, and no one can agree on the meaning of five of them
together, which has caused near riots in several lit. departments and
fist-fights on the Stratford commons.  However anyone might want to
pronounce Wriothesley is of small matter unless it forces upon us the
outrageous proposition that Shakespeare had access to the strings of
young Henry's codpiece, and left us the proof of it in the Sonnets.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Green <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 02 Aug 2005 01:55:14 +0000
Subject: 16.1272 Roses
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1272 Roses

Richard Kennedy's July 28 critique of my article on "The Pronunciation
of Wriothesley," was ominously designated as "Part 1," so I decided to
delay responding to it until the appearance of "Part 2," which I assume
Richard Kennedy is planning to send after he reads my article. But "Part
2" not having yet appeared (as of late in the evening of August 1), and
Rainbow Saari (thank you, Rainbow!) having made some points in support
of my conclusions which doubtless are more effective coming from her
than from me, and Bill Lloyd having noted for Kennedy's benefit that
"Rosely" might be the only wreasonable way to pronounce Wrosley, I shall
submit now a few comments of my own, without waiting for "Part 2."

I suggest that Kennedy wrote his "Part 1" without having really read my
article (although obviously he did skim through some of it) because that
would decently explain what could otherwise be only a deliberate
misrepresentation of what I wrote. In his "Part 1," Kennedy quotes me as
having written (p. 138 of the printed article): "we have no evidence
that Wriothesley actually was or could have been pronounced Rosely," - -
and puts that forward as my own belief in the matter, by which I
contradict my own pronouncements on pronunciation. . But let's look at
the context in which that statement appears.

At the beginning of the article, I note that Shakespeare dedicated
"Venus and Adonis" and "Lucrece" to Henry Wriothesley, and I review the
suggestions made from 1916 on, that the "Rose(s)" which frequently
appear (always capitalized) in the Sonnets, might be punning references
to Wriothesley, whose surname  (probably the "budding name" of Sonnet
95) might have been pronounced "Rose-ly." Immediately following that
brief review, I write (see page 138!):

"Although the reason put forward by Skipworth and Shackford for
Wriothesley's being pronounced Rosely - - that it would infuse meaning
into a metaphor otherwise trite and unworthy of Shakespeare - - is to
many people, myself included, very persuasive, it has not persuaded
those persons who argue that the Rose imagery is nothing but a
conventional symbol of youthful beauty, or a reference to the "Idea" or
type of beauty in a Platonic sense, and that, in any event, we have no
evidence that Wriothesley actually was or could have been pronounced
Rosely (although they themselves, as we shall see, whatever the
pronunciation, other than Rosely, that they use, do so on the basis of
no evidence whatsoever.[Footnotes omitted.]"

Obviously, the words quoted by Kennedy out of context are a statement
not of my views, but are my (perhaps awkward) statement of the views of
persons who argue against the notion that Wriothesley might have been
pronounced Rosely.

Following the above-quoted paragraph, I commence a consideration (and
this constitutes the bulk of the article) of such evidence as there is
with respect to the pronunciation of Wriothesley. I begin by reviewing
the pronunciations proposed by pronouncing dictionaries and Shakespeare
scholars. But if a dictionary or person merely stated that the name was
pronounced a certain way, without giving any reason (as did Pollard, and
as did all of the dictionaries, some proposing as many as 10
pronunciations for the name), I did not bother to discuss their
undocumented assertions; I didn't claim the pronunciations were wrong, I
merely noted that there was no evidence submitted in support of them. I
lingered a little over the pronunciations suggested by Charlotte C.
Stopes (Wresley) and A. L. Rowse (Risley), but pointed out that Stopes
was relying on one cited written example of the name, and Rowse on the
unidentified spelling used by "one of the name" - - although who that
person was, or where that spelling can be found, Rowse never discloses.
I invoked the proverb cited in Tilley, that "as one swallow makes not
summer, so one particularity concludeth no generality" and rejected the
idea that Stopes' and Rowse's reliance on ONE spelling each (and each
different!) established THE pronunciation of Wriothesley. I further
showed that the unidentified "one of the name" relied upon by Rowse was
Thomas Risley, a person in the service of Wriothesley, but not related
to him, whose family had borne the name Risley long before the name
Wriothesley was invented.

I then proceeded to list the many different spellings of Wriothesley as
found in the "Letters and Papers Of . . . Henry VIII" (checking many of
the printed spellings against microfilm copies of the original
handwritten documents, and satisfying myself that the printed variant
(i.e., other than "Wriothesley") spellings correctly reflect the
handwritten spellings in the original documents). The variant spellings
fall into three categories: those with a i or y in the first syllable
(e.g., Wrisley, Wrysle, Writhesley), those with an o in the first
syllable (e.g., Wrosley, Wrothesley, Wroysley) and those with an e in
the first syllable (e.g., Wreseley, Wressle, Wresley). I then turned to
a consideration of what these vowel sounds might represent, and on the
basis of Richard Hodges' 1643 book, "A Special Help to Orthographie,"
and rhymes in Elizabethan poetry, showed that what speakers of "standard
British (and American) English" today (and then) pronounced as a long i
(as the i in line), was generally pronounced by dialect speakers then
(and often, especially in England, today), as oi (as in loin). I deal
with the e spellings (i.e., Wreseley,, Wresley, etc.) on the basis of
Hilda Hulme's clearly correct observation that the words "arent the
wich" in a legal document found by her are the phrase "Aroynt thee,
witch," otherwise found only in the works of Shakespeare (that thus
being  an example of e sometimes pronounced as oi). Of all that
material, covering, as he points out, many pages, Mr. Kennedy writes
only that "dialect is a difficult study." So perhaps he skipped over or
just skimmed that, too.

Also, Mr. Kennedy either hasn't read or finds it convenient to ignore
the long and crucial section dealing with the spelling of the name of
Thomas Risley, who ended up as the steward of the Wriothesley manor in
Titchfield . From 1620 to 1624, Henry Wriothesley was the CEO (the
Treasurer, as that position was called) of the Virginia Company. On 26
June 1620 he gave Thomas Risley a gift of 2 shares in the Company, thus
entitling Risley to participate in the meetings of the shareholders. The
records of attendance at the meetings frequently list him as Mr,
Wrothsbie, Wrothsby, Wreosley, Wrothsley, Wriothsly, etc. - -
indicating, I argue, that his name was pronounced in a way which made it
indistinguishable from the pronunciation of Wriothesley. I do not claim.
as Mr. Kennedy asserts, that "Rosely is the best bet for Wriothesley,
Risley coming in second. "I do claim that both were pronounced in a way
which made the persons taking attendance at the meetings of the
shareholders of the Virginia Company confuse the one name for the other,
and consequently spell Risley as Wrothsbie, Wrothsby, Wreosley,
Wrothsley, etc. (The b's in some of the spellings, I think most will
agree, are mistranscriptions of the l's in the original documents, l and
b being quite similar in the handwriting of the period.)

Mr. Kennedy, without referring to any of that, jumps to my Conclusion -
-  to my statement that "it is unlikely that there ever was, at any
time, one universally used pronunciation of Wriothesley." - a statement
which he claims reaffirms my supposed concession at the beginning of my
paper that "we have no evidence that Wriothesley actually was or could
have been pronounced Rosely." But what I am saying is that there
probably were current a number of pronunciations Wriothesley, and that
Rosely was one of them. My very next two sentences after the one quoted
by Mr. Kennedy are these: : "Whatever may have been the sounds intended
to be represented by the many varied sixteenth- and seventeenth- century
spellings of Wriothesley, common sense suggests that not all of these
different spellings were intended to represent the same pronunciation.
The fundamental error of Pollard, Stopes and Rowse [and, I now add,
Kennedy] is that they contend, on the basis of no evidence (in the case
of Pollard) or of only one supposedly phonetic spelling (in the case of
Stopes [and Kennedy!]), or of spellings alluded to but not identified
(in the case of Rowse) that each of their proffered pronunciations is
the one and only pronunciation, excluding all others, instead of just
one of several pronunciations which may have been current."

And then after briefly summarizing the phonetic and orthographic matters
skimmed over by Mr. Kennedy, I state my ultimate conclusion, that "among
both dialect and RP [i.e., "received pronunciation" meaning basically
"preferred" pronunciation] speakers in the circle of the earl of
Southampton, Roisley or Rosely was a common pronunciation of
Wriothesley, and that to these persons, the entreaty in the Sonnets
[Sonnet 109] to "thou, my Rose" was a readily perceived allusion to the
specific human being to whom Shakespeare had once dedicated [in Lucrece]
'love without end.'"

(Although the records of the Virginia Company give substantial evidence
in support of the Wriothesley = Risley = Rosely conclusion, I think that
the most moving and compelling evidence may well be that provided by the
local parish priests, who certainly must have been personally acquainted
with both Henry Wriothesley and his steward, Thomas Risley. On 28
December 1624, the register of the Titchfield parish church records the
burial of "Lord James wryosley," and on 25 July 1653, the same register
records the burial of "Mr. Thomas Riosely." The people in Titchfield
knew very well that Thomas Risley of Titchfield (as he is styled in his
will) was in no way related to Henry Wriothesley, earl of Southampton
(or his son, James); even so, although they made a slight orthographic
distinction between the two names, they were unable to distinguish
between them phonetically - - and spelled both names with an o.)

One last observation, with respect to the epitaph for "Wrisley" which is
the one item of evidence advanced by Mr. Kennedy for his claim that the
one and only pronunciation of Wriothesley was Risley.. The author of
that poem, John Phillip or Phillips, was more or less a hack writer who,
evidently for compensation, or in hope of some favors, wrote epitaphs at
the drop of a body. He wrote epitaphs for Dame Helen Branch, "A.
Auenet", the wife of the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Philip Sidney, etc.,
and several dedications, one to "Robert Devorax Earle of Essex and Ewe."
The Lord Mayor's name was Avenon, not Avenet, and the Earl of Essex'
name was Devereux, not Devorax. Phillip(s) seems to have had trouble
with names (although he got Sir Philip Sidney right). I suspect that he
knew few, if any, of the people whose "epitaphs" he wrote.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alan Horn <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Aug 2005 09:50:49 EDT
Subject: 16.1272 Roses
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1272 Roses

A Wriothesley is a Wriothesley is a Wriothesley.

Alan Horn

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.