This provides a concrete date for the legend and rules out Richard I and his brother John. Eric is a noted archaeological photographer and his illustrations of the real places associated with the Outlaw, backed up with quotes from the ballads, made the talk particularly vivid. Eric referred to the TV documentary on the Outlaw, fronted by Tony Robinson, in which he appeared as a local expert.
Having worked with Tony on a previous Time Team programme, Eric has a high regard for him. For further information, Eric recommends the following book The poem is a Bunyan-like narrative in which the horrors of hell are painted with a vigorous brush. In fact hell is made so distinct that even the mitigating and finally saving presence of Christ as guide can hardly soften the pictures of "puir damnit saullis The one lady of Elizabethan days whose fame justly exceeds that of any of her predecessors is Mary Sidney , 3 sister of Sir Philip Sidney. At sixteen she married Henry Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and the twenty-four years of her married life were passed at his estate, Wilton House, in Wiltshire.
Her brother Philip was often at Wilton and her more important literary accomplishments are closely bound up with his work. It was at Wilton that he wrote The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia which he dedicated to his "dear ladie and sister.
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Psalms are attributed to Lady Pembroke. Before she had also translated The Triumph of Death from the Italian. In she brought out her brother's Arcadia on which she had done most careful editorial work.
She had also a taste for science. Aubrey, in his Brief Lives , says of her: "She was a great chymist, and spent yearly a great deale in that study. Gilbert , half brother to Sir Walter Ralegh, who was a great chymist in those dayes…. She also gave an honourable pension to Dr. Thomas Mouffett, who hath writ a booke De insectis. Also one… Boston, a good chymist… who did undoe himself by studying the philosopher's stone. But while Lady Pembroke takes undoubtedly a high rank as translator and editor, her fame does not rest chiefly on this work. When Nicholas Breton compared her to the Duchess of Urbino he brought forward her essential claim to distinction, which is that she understood, valued, and befriended the literati of her day.
Aubrey says: "In her time Wilton House was like a College, there were so many learned and ingeniose persons. She was the greatest patronesse of witt and learning of any lady in her time. No such chorus of praise had been accorded any other woman except the queen. But it must be noted that this adulation is mainly for Lady Pembroke as the patroness of letters. Only incidentally are her own scholastic attainments commended.
It was as a lover of wit and learning, as a dispenser of favors, that Lady Pembroke, the typical great lady of Elizabethan days, expressed her interest in learning, rather than as herself a scholar; and it was as an intelligent and open-handed patroness that she received highest recognition.
Wotton, about a century later, gives the following summary of the learning of this period: "It was so very modish, that the fair Sex seemed to believe that Greek and Latin added to their Charms: and Plato and Aristotle untranslated, were frequent ornaments of their Closets. One would think by the Effects, that it was a proper Way of Educating of them, since there are no Accounts in History of so many truly great Women in any one age, as are to be found between the years 15 and Though Wotton counts the century as one period, a closer study of dates shows that most of the learned women of the century belong in the first half of it, or at least obtained their education in the first half of it.
The woman most noted for classical attainments during Elizabeth's reign was Lady Bacon. Her sisters also were of considerable importance intellectually, and they lived well into the reign of Elizabeth. But their education and their establishment as women of exceptional learning belong before the coming of Elizabeth to the throne. Miss Weston's learning is unquestioned, but it can hardly be credited to England.
She lived much abroad, her works were published in Holland, and the praise accorded her in England was but an echo of the eulogies uttered by foreign critics.
In spite of Queen Elizabeth and Lady Mary Sidney, and Lady Bacon and Jane Weston, it becomes apparent by a study of dates and names that there were in Elizabeth's reign fewer eulogies of liberal education for girls and fewer records of women distinguished by learning than in the preceding period. In point of fact, when we speak of the sixteenth century as a century of learned women, the emphasis should be on the first sixty years of the century.
With the death of Elizabeth we come practically to the end of the favor accorded learned women. The changed tone of public opinion may be fairly indicated by a few scattered utterances from contemporary poems and essays. Sir Thomas Overbury, in his Characters , describes "A Good Woman" as one "whose husband's welfare is the business of her actions. Powell, in Tom of All Trades , is emphatic in his plea for the domestic as against the learned lady: "Let them learne plaine workes of all kinds, so they take heed of too open seaming.
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Instead of Song and Musicke, let them learn Cookerie and Laundrie. And instead of reading in Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia , let them reade the grounds of good huswifery. I like not a female Poetresse at any hand. Shee lookes upon him as Conjurers upon the Circle, beyond which there is nothing but Death and Hell; and in him shee beleeves Paradice circumscrib'd. His vertues are her wonder and imitation; and his errors, her credulitie thinkes no more frailtie, then makes him descend to the title of Man.
The Grecians accustomed to burne, before the doore of the new married, the axletree of that coach, wherein she was brought to her husbands house, letting her understand that she was ever after to dwell there. Sir Ralph Verney said of his own daughter: "Pegg is very backward. She wrote to him: "I know you and my coussenes wil out rech me in french, but i am a goeng whaar i hop i shal out rech you in ebri grek and laten.
Good sweet harte bee not soe covitous; beleeve me a Bible with y e Common prayer and a good plaine cattichisme in your mother tongue being well read and practised, is well worth all the rest and much more sutable to your sex; I know your Father thinks thise false doctrine, but be confident your husband will bee of my oppinion. In French you can not be too cunning for that language affords many admirable books fit for you as Romances, Plays, Poetry, Stories of illustrious not learned Woemen, receipts for preserving, makinge creames and all sorts of cookeryes, ordring your gardens and in Breif, all manner of good housewifery.
The general opinion was quite in accord with Luther when he said: "Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children"; 2 or, at the best, with Milton's "He for God only, she for God in him. Baldwyn, it is true, in , in his New Help to Discourse , praises England as the place where women had the greatest prerogatives. In England, he says, women "are not kept so severely submiss" as in France, nor so jealously guarded as in Italy. And it is a common byword among the Italians that if there were a bridge built over the narrow seas all women in Europe would run into England.
Of more curious interest is the ingenious attempt of the Bishop of London to interpret the account of the creation of Eve from Adam's rib as an intention on the part of the Creator to teach the equality of woman with man. For qui jungunter lateribus, socii sunt , they that walke side to side, cheeke to cheeke, walke as companions. One book definitely in honor of the ladies came out rather late in the period. This was Charles Gerbier's Elogium Heroinum.
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The threefold dedication to the Princess of Bohemia, "whose marvellous wisdom and profound knowledge in Arts, Sciences, and Languages, is admired by all men," to the Countess Dowager of Claire, "a Patroness of the Muses, a general Lover of the Languages, and Knowledge"; and to the "Vertuous Accomplisht Lady Anne Hudson," is justified by the three principles in natural philosophy, the three theological virtues, and the three graces.
Gerbier, "is capable of as high improvement as man," an assertion which he proceeds to establish by the following arguments: "Does not Sophia signify wisdom? Are not Faith, Hope and Charity represented as Women? Are not the Nine Muses Daughters of Jupiter? Is not Wisdom called the Daughter of the Highest? Praise so heterogeneous and uncritical was perhaps of little value, but such as it is, it stands alone in England in the period between Elizabeth and Charles II as a defense of learned women. And no defense or protest comes from the pen of a woman. It should, however, be noted that in European countries women were more vitally concerned in their own destinies.
Between and there appeared at least three significant books by women dealing with the intellectual emancipation of their sex. The earliest of these came from Italy in with a second edition in A second and better known book was by Marie de Jars, the fille d'alliance of Montaigne, usually known as Mlle. But however cumbersome we may find her method, it apparently suited her public, for the book was enthusiastically received.
The third and by far the most important book on the position and desirable training of women was by Anna van Schurman of Utrecht. The extremes to which Mlle. Anna van Schurman's book was translated into English and had a direct influence on the progress of English educational ideals for women. It is taken up in detail later in this discussion. The low estimate of learning, in the first half of the seventeenth century, as an appropriate pursuit for women, had as its natural outcome a great decrease in the number of women who devoted themselves to any form of scholarship.
The names that remain to us from this period as in any way connected with literature or learning form a singularly inchoate list, interesting, for the most part, because of the oddities it represents rather than because of any solid achievements.
A few sketches of Pontefract topography... : (From the Pontefract Advertiser.)
Of considerable importance are several ladies in the early years of the Stuarts who followed in the footsteps of Lady Pembroke as patronesses of learning. The first of these was Lady Bedford, who held her "graceful and brilliant little court" at Twickenham Park between and Daniel, Drayton, Donne, and Jonson were among those who celebrated her munificence. Though Lady Bedford wrote verses she had no pronounced literary pursuits of her own.
Her "considerable and varied learning" went preferably along antiquarian and horticultural lines. She collected medals and pictures, and she designed a garden highly praised by Sir William Temple. She is of importance chiefly because, in an age when learning lived only as it found patrons, she was magnificent in her hospitality to the poets.
Related Pontefract (1920) [Illustrated]
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