By Steven W. May, Arthur F. Marotti
In Ink, Stink Bait, Revenge, and Queen Elizabeth, Steven W. may possibly and Arthur F. Marotti current a lately came upon “household ebook” from sixteenth-century England. Its major scribe, John Hanson, was once a yeoman who labored as a criminal agent in rural Yorkshire. His booklet, a miscellaneous choice of records that he stumbled on helpful or fascinating, is an extraordinary instance of a middle-class provincial anthology that includes, as well as works from the country’s cultural heart, goods of neighborhood curiosity seldom or by no means disseminated nationally.
Among the literary highlights of the family publication are special copies of 2 ballads, whose unique print models were misplaced, describing Queen Elizabeth’s procession via London after the victory over the Spanish Armada; poems attributed to Elizabeth herself; and different verse through courtly writers copied from manuscript and print assets. Of neighborhood curiosity is the earliest-known reproduction of a 126-stanza ballad a couple of mid-fourteenth-century West Yorkshire feud among the Eland and Beaumont households. The manuscript’s utilitarian goods comprise a verse calendar and poetic Decalogue, version criminal files, actual property documents, recipes for inks and fish baits, and directions for catching rabbits and birds. Hanson mixed either expert and leisure pursuits in his manuscript, together with fabric concerning his felony paintings with wills and genuine property transactions.
As may well and Marotti argue of their cultural and historic interpretation of the textual content, Hanson’s family booklet is mainly necessary not just for the bizarre texts it preserves but in addition for the ways that it demonstrates the intersection of the neighborhood and nationwide and of well known and elite cultures in early glossy England.
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Extra info for Ink, Stink Bait, Revenge, and Queen Elizabeth: A Yorkshire Yeoman's Household Book
The Stanhopes, like the Hansons, were prosperous yeoman stock ascending socially during Elizabeth’s reign. 44 Possibly Mary herself brought her grandfather’s household book into the Stanhope household, but she does not seem to have been a particular favorite with him. The elder Hanson remembered her in his will with a bequest of forty shillings, the same amount given to each of her three sisters (Will, f. 671). 45 As one of John Hanson’s four heirs he might easily have claimed the booklet as a family memento owned by his grandfather and largely compiled by his great-grandfather.
6v). These entries suggest that Hanson was involved with writing and illuminating manuscripts. The colors of the various inks and paints suggest a particular interest in heraldry and the depiction of coats of arms. 26 How the elder Hanson learned to read and write remains mere guesswork, for there is no record of his education. He was proficient enough in Latin to appreciate and copy into his anthology a Latin epigram (f. 49), as well as to adapt and transcribe numerous Latin legal documents. 27 John senior’s name does not appear on the rolls of either university or the Inns of Court.
Fox, Oral and Literate Culture in England 1500–1700 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 7–9. 36â•…â•…â•… C hapter 1 In his influential The Ballad and the Folk (1972), David Buchan proposes an exception to this rule in the ballad-rich region of northeast Scotland around Aberdeen. Buchan argues that this area remained largely illiterate until the late eighteenth century, so that its numerous ballads, about one third of Child’s total corpus, testify to a wholly oral tradition. ’â•›”11 The methodological problem remains, however, because all the texts he cites date from the eighteenth century at the earliest, and any speculation as to their origins, nature, or form before that time is necessarily guesswork.