Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some bloggers are odd feeders!

(Image: Hadrian's Wall east of Greenhead Lough, as photographed by Wikipedia user Velela.)

Imagine my happiness to hear from Lea, a Ph.D. student and blogger who is also trekking through Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works, and posting her observations in her LiveJournal, "...yet I'll hammer it out." She says that the end of a semester leaves her little time for Middleton blogging, but I hope that will change, and I'll be able to crib from her insights as we both work through the book.

I'd like to mention one of her entries in particular, a discussion of Middleton and Dekker's pamphlet News from Gravesend: Sent to Nobody. Most interesting reading, and I'm sure I'll start here when I want to tackle some of Middleton's non-dramatic writing. The phamplet is mostly about the plague and rich people fleeing London while the poor are left to die, but also features reflections on the new King, James I, and the unification in him of the Scottish and English crowns. Lea's analysis demands quotation:

[T]he de facto union of England and Scotland is figured as a royal wedding in which the maiden isle" surrenders "her maidenhead" to the Scottish king, the newfound permeability of the border a kind of sexual penetration (which, of course, leads us to the inevitable conclusion that Hadrian's Wall is England's hymen I am not sure how to feel about that).

I remember hiking along Hadrian's Wall, and that wasn't the first thing that came to mind. But literature is about opening our minds to new possibilities, no?

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