I’m going to start with a quick plug for what must surely be the newest early modern blog on the block, The Long Eighteenth (as in century). There should, I think, be much rejoicing that Jim Chevallier has taken up blogging, kicking off with a thoughtful post on why the early modern period is so fascinating to study. And The Long Eighteenth’s founder, Carrie Shanafelt, discusses how we define the long eighteenth century. I rambled on a bit there as well, but I won’t inflict the link on you.
For some reason there’s been a lot of rhyme and unreason this summer. At Philobiblon, Natalie brought us an elegy not for the squeamish (which sparked a fascinating discussion about what the poet was up to). Meanwhile, Inkhorn at Blogging the Renaissance offered up a seventeenth-century dirty joke.
The nimble Spider from his Entrailes drawes
A suttle Thread, and curious art doth show
In weaving Nets, not much unlike those Lawes
Which catch Small-Thieves, and let the Great-ones goe. …
And then again, a ballad (ancient or modern) can tell a rousing story: at Walking the Berkshires, Tim Abbott’s Ballad of William Race recounts a 1750s rent war in the American colonies.
Cardinal Wolsey reports on a far more bloody dispute, Kett’s Rebellion, which took place in Norfolk in the summer of 1549. (An extensive selection of primary sources relating to this event, with commentaries, can be found at Virtual Norfolk).
Further contention, though less blood, over at Crooked Timber: Henry Farrell was surprised by a new book on just how impolite early coffeehouses could be. A somewhat impolite discussion followed.
Now, lest anyone imagine that the fine people group-blogging at Blogging the Renaissance are only interested in smutty double entendres, here is Inkhorn again, on early modern liberalism; meanwhile Simplicius is exploring some early modern theories of the origins of English insults.
If it’s early modern, how can there not be Shakespeare? Kristine reviewed a book on Green Shakespeare at Earmarks in Early Modern Culture. And at Senselist, a roundup of 8 people who, according to various more or less loony theories, might be the real Shakespeare.
Speaking of the strange and surreal, misteraitch reports on an 18th-century journey to the moon. With pictures, of course, since this is Giornale Nuovo.
The only problem with Early Modern Whale, as ever, is which of Roy Booth’s wonderful posts to select. But let’s stay in the realms of the fantastic, with a pamphlet Roy claims as the first occurrence of ‘silly season’ journalism in English, reporting a dragon in deepest darkest… Sussex.
More seriously, though, Roy also discusses the English legislation of 1650 that made adultery a capital crime. And just in case you’ve been finding this edition all a bit light and lascivious, here’s something more muscular for you: Brandon’s discussion at Siris of Brown and Shepherd on the Five Propositions of Hume’s Causal Theory.
And taking humour seriously: Jonathan Dresner reports on a new book on humour in Edo-period Japan.
Finally, things both pretty and practical: maps. Miriam at scribblingwoman noticed a lovely interactive map of early modern London. And at Bibliodyssey, Peacay has some beautiful images of a sixteenth-century Portolan atlas.
Carnivalesque is always on the lookout for hosts: email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested. The next edition in September will be an ancient/medieval theme issue. But it’s also Carnivalesque’s second birthday! So we might want to do something a bit special. Who knows?
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