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ISSN / EISSN: 00293970 / 14716941
Total articles ≅ 337,233

Latest articles in this journal

Published: 6 September 2022
Abstract:
The recently found runic inscription from King’s Somborne, Hampshire, 1 although unclear in a number of details, can be analyzed as consisting of a substantive, probably a name, functioning as subject followed by a finite verb functioning as predicate; the accusative object of the clause consists of the demonstrative pronoun followed by a substantive. After carefully weighing various possibilities, Hines offers the following ‘revised transliteration of the text’: 2 This may be read as Hemele worogtæ þis gæsil, and Hines edits the ‘normalized Old English’ text as Hemele wrohte þis gesil ‘Hemele made this strap-end’, where wrohte may perhaps be replaced by worhte. It seems clear that we are concerned with the type of inscription ‘X made Y’. The name of X...
Published: 30 August 2022
Abstract:
Of the many obscure details in Hogarth’s pictorial art, perhaps the most obscure occurs in the last picture of his Election series, Chairing the members(pl 1). This series, Hogarth’s last, describes an election which takes place in the mythic borough of Guzzledown, making it a satire on the manoeuvrings behind the 1754 General Election, particularly in the constituency of Oxfordshire. 1 The first picture shows the end of an election banquet organized by the town party, also known as the New Interest, which is followed in the second picture by a glimpse of the bribery which went on during canvassing. The third picture shows the vote in progress and the last, Chairing the members, depicts the parade of the two successful candidates belonging to the country party, the Old Interest. 2 The centre-piece of this last picture is a brawl between a farm-worker with his flail and...
Published: 24 August 2022
Abstract:
In the corpus of John Gower’s Latin poetry, the thirty-six-line Ecce patet tensus has a certain mystique. With only one surviving copy, its attestation is sparser than any other independent Latin poem Gower wrote. 1Ecce patet tensus appears uniquely in London, British Library, MS Additional 59495 (‘Trentham’), where, moreover, it is followed by a missing leaf, raising the possibility that the received text is incomplete. 2 The text of Ecce patet tensus in Trentham is written in Gower’s own hand, according to new paleographical research by Sebastian Sobecki. 3 A unique, fragmentary, autograph manuscript text is an alluring mixture of loss and auratic glow. The poem presents a mordant indictment of love as the force that deranges people, wounds nations, and overshadows the world. If the missing leaf contained a second half of Ecce patet tensus that recuperated love by spiritualizing it, as one might expect from Gower and...
Published: 22 August 2022
Abstract:
The 297-page ‘Sterne’s Subscribers, An Identification List’ within the ninth volume of the Florida Sterne (2014) aroused my curiosity about those subscribers as yet unidentified or only partially so, despite the wealth of information this list provided. I early discovered what might have been obvious to others: subscription in the middle of the eighteenth century was often a function of social connections—some regional or professional, some personal, or familial. Genealogical information, especially, has helped to locate connections between certain or almost certain subscribers and other, more doubtful ones. To an American, tracing genealogies amidst the British peerage and landed gentry presents problems of terminology, to say the least. Changes in rank and title that could occur during a person’s lifetime, let alone at the person’s death, added other obstacles. Online family genealogies sometimes provided starting points but were unreliable enough to be excluded without independent confirmation from printed sources. What...
Published: 18 August 2022
Abstract:
The relationship between poet and philosopher Constance Naden (1858–1889) and her close companion Madeline Daniell (1832–1906) has been the subject of critical speculation. Lyssa Randolph has argued that Daniell’s biographical essays about Naden were written ‘from the countercultural space of “romantic friendship”’, and Virginia Blain includes Naden in a list of Victorian women poets ‘who appear less orientated […] towards the fulfilment of heterosexual desire’. 1 While Blain emphasized ‘a desperate need for more recovery work, especially in the area of lesbian poetry’ in 1999, it has not been straightforward to undertake such work in the case of Naden. 2 Posthumous biographies written by friends, the most extensive of which is Constance Naden: A Memoir (1890), do not refer to, or even imply, the existence of any romantic attachments. 3 Furthermore, Naden was notoriously private about her personal life; there are only two letters attributable to her, no diaries from...
Published: 18 August 2022
Abstract:
The Latin poem John Gower composed to mark his January 1398 marriage to Agnes Groundolf, Est amor in glosa, presents multiple forms of interpretive difficulty and affords an opportunity to observe the author at work constructing individual lines of poetry. Its variable presentation in manuscripts raises doubts about its extent, whether the poem beginning ‘Est amor in glosa’ and preceded by a Latin headnote ought to be considered to consist of fifteen, nineteen, or twenty-seven lines. 1 Gower’s first great modern editor, G. C. Macaulay, distinguished two poems, incipit ‘Est amor in glosa’ (nineteen lines) and incipit ‘Lex docet auctorum’ (eight lines). 2 In his new edition of Gower’s minor Latin works, R. F. Yeager, following a suggestion of David R. Carlson’s, prints as one poem all twenty-seven lines commonly found in sequence in the manuscripts, subsuming Macaulay’s ‘Lex docet auctorum’ as lines 20–27 of Est amor in glosa...
Published: 10 August 2022
Abstract:
Whitman’s admiration for Charles Dickens’s work is well documented. Dickens’s visit to the USA in 1842 prompted Whitman to write a defence of ‘Boz’ against the charge that his characters, and in particular his bad characters, were exaggerated and unrealistic; for Whitman, Dickens was guilty of nothing more than depicting vice ‘in all its glaring reality’ in order to teach his readers ‘how terrible a thing is iniquity’. 1 Whitman saw in Dickens a writer committed, like the American poet himself, to celebrating the teeming life of the city, and recognising the value of even the most apparently insignificant lives; his ‘lines are imbued, from preface to finis, with that philosophy which teaches to pull down the high and bring up the low’. 2 Whitman’s attentive reading of his great English contemporary can also be seen in his use of the title ‘What’s the Row?’ in one of his earliest...
Published: 3 August 2022
Abstract:
By the third act of Macbeth, the natural order has been upset by staggering wickedness: with the murder of King Duncan Macbeth has already killed in cold blood and committed treason against the whole of Scotland, and set in motion his own spiritual decay in the pursuit of royal power. Fearful of the Weird Sisters’ prophecy hinting at another impediment to his throne, Macbeth was driven to commit further bloodshed, this time with the hope of eliminating an old friend along with his issue that was foretold to become king: Banquo, the Thane of Lochaber, and his son Fleance. Now headquartered at Forres and about to host an unforgettable feast, Macbeth would first send out three murderers to hunt down the father and son in the dark Scottish highlands, in the obscure hours when ‘night’s black agents to their preys do rouse’ (3.2.54). 1 In this setting, the hunters and their prey tread without the knowledge of the evil higher powers that ultimately determine their fates. Just at the moment before the murderers attack Banquo, he walks along by torchlight with Fleance and looks at the sky, making what could have been an idle observation in any other world than Macbeth:
Published: 3 August 2022
Abstract:
Scholars have known for many years that Titus Andronicus was jointly written by George Peele and Shakespeare. When I surveyed the history of the authorship debate in 2002, I found that a convincing case, backed with many kinds of evidence, had been made for Peele’s authorship of 1.1, 2.1, and 4.1. 1 The single most telling piece of evidence was provided by Philip Timberlake’s pioneering 1931 study of the play’s use of ‘feminine endings’. 2 This term, taken over from French prosody, differentiates a masculine ending, such as the standard English pentameter line: from one having an extra, eleventh syllable, such as Timberlake showed how the feminine ending was introduced into English drama by Thomas Kyd, whose Soliman and Perseda (performed c. 1588, printed 1592), averaged 10.2 per cent feminine endings, followed by...
Published: 3 August 2022
Abstract:
St Stephen Coleman Street parish, London is probably best known to early modern theatre historians as the one-time home of joiner-turned-player and theatre builder, James Burbage, and as the birthplace of Shakespearean star actor, Richard Burbage; but as William Ingram has demonstrated, the mid-sixteenth century parish was home to a number of other performers and individuals with links to London’s early theatre and performance industries, including several minstrels; Peter Street, the carpenter who would later help Richard and Cuthbert Burbage build the Globe Theatre; and John Brayne, James Burbage’s brother-in-law and founder of the Red Lion playhouse, as well as Burbage’s collaborator in the building of the Theatre. 1 More recently, David Kathman has found evidence to link at least two Tudor royal players to the parish in the 1540s—brothers, George and John Birche—the latter of whom was a joiner as well as a player (like James Burbage), prompting Kathman...
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