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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Notes and Queries spotting

Everyone's favourite journal, of course. I love it, in particular, for the marvellous titles it trots out. And on Friday, as undergraduates failed to turn up for their initial dissertation meetings, I took to trawling through old copies, online. It started when I saw a title from the 2008 edition: Thomas Merriam, 'Shakespeare's Use of 'Holy Water' is Not Typical of Playwrights of his Time'. Brilliant. Then I started looking for others: and there is a whole world of jewels out there. Here are some of my favourites ...

From 1851:
From 1876:
HENRY H. GIBBS, "LUNCHEON"; and J. N. B., 'BOY BISHOPS'; and RULE, 'STRAWBERRY LEAVES ON DUCAL CORONETS'; and C. F. S. WARREN, 'CONCERNING SNAKES IN ICELAND', which has the subtitle, 'There are snakes in Iceland.'

A good angle is to look for what N&Q was doing at particularly resonant moments. So: as war raged in 1944, N&Q offered HIBERNICUS, 'THE DIMPLE'; and then in March 2003, as the last crusade commences: Rhona Beare, 'IS THE BARNACLE GOOSE SELFISH, AND IS IT HAROLD?'

p.s. I'm delayed on reading Stern and Palfrey: but I will to it, anon.

  • At 5/31/2008 11:31:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…


    I don't understand how "selfish" and "Harold" could be parallel--is this some Britishism I'm unaware of?

    Even Google doesn't help me out on this one. And I object (i.e., am too lazy) actually to read the article itself.


  • At 6/01/2008 04:56:00 AM, Blogger Bardolph wrote…

    simplicius: seems the article is about a passage in a poem in the earliest Life of Edward the Confessor, where there is reference to a selfish bird. our learned author glosses this as the mythical bernaca (barnacle goose), and sees it as an allegory of King Harold. Surprised you didn't see this in the NY Times.


  • At 6/03/2008 01:45:00 AM, Blogger Pamphilia wrote…

    I just misread "Strawberry Leaves on Ducal Coronets" as a newspaper headline: "Strawberry Leaves Ducal Coronets" (in a huff, I guess).


  • At 6/18/2008 06:20:00 AM, Blogger John Burton wrote…

    I bet t-shirts with some of these gems on would sell like t-shirt-shaped hot cakes at the SRS conference.


  • At 6/19/2008 12:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    Things are quiet here. I suppose that's a good sign that everyone is busy! Anyway, I've added another Holzknechtian summary over on Shakespeare Knew Them, if you'd like to include it in Holzknecht Redivivus. Happy Reading!


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