5.0567 Sidney (Family) Books; Metaphors & Legends (2/79)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Mon, 6 Jan 1992 20:09:36 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0567. Monday, 6 Jan 1992.

(1) Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1991 22:39:13 -0500 (38 lines)
From: warkent@epas.utoronto.ca (Germaine Warkentin)
Subject: Editing 17th C. Library Catalogue

(2) Date: Sun, 5 Jan 1992 23:04 EST (41 lines)
Subject: Literary Metaphor / Urban Legends

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1991 22:39:13 -0500
From: warkent@epas.utoronto.ca (Germaine Warkentin)
Subject: Editing 17th C. Library Catalogue

Bob Dawson asked (on the list) what library catalogue I was editing.
It's the manuscript of the catalogue of the library of the Sidney
family of Penshurst Place, Kent. The manuscript is on deposit in the
Kent Archives Office, Maidstone, and dates from approximately 1665.
The library it records is that of the 17th-century Sidneys, not Sir
Philip Sidney the poet (1554-1586). However, the books at Penshurst
were a long time accumulating, and in my view it is very likely that a
small number of them once belonged to Sir Philip. The total number of
titles entered in the catalogue is just under 4000 -- a substantial
family library for the period. Some of the books may have been those
of Sir Henry Sidney and Sir Philip his son, many of them were those of
Sir Philip's brother Robert, first Earl of Leicester of the second
creation, and a LOT of them were accumulated by Robert's son the
second Earl, who was not nearly as famous as the rest of the Sidneys,
probably because he seems to have spent most of his time buying books!

May I use this opportunity to ask members of Humanist to let me know
if they ever come across a book with a Sidney family provenance? A
message on ExLibris and C-18L last spring led to several reports of
volumes with the bookplate of Philip the _fifth_ -- a generation too
late for my catalogue, but still of great interest for the history of
the library itself, which goes on until 1743, when the books were
dispersed by that interesting 18th century bookseller Thomas Osborne
(yes, the one at whom Dr. Johnson threw the folio Greek bible). In
particular, I would be grateful for any leads to a copy of the sale
catalogue itself, which unremitting effort has failed to uncover.
Osborne advertised his auction as "Library of John, late Earl of
Leicester," and the sale, with W. Shropshire as auctioneer, was held
in January-February 1742/3. All assistance will be gratefully
acknowledged, and in return I'm always happy to answer questions about
titles in the catalogue.

Germaine Warkentin <warkent@epas.utoronto.ca>

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------49----
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 1992 23:04 EST
Subject: Re: 5.0468 Rs: File Comparison; Metaphors; Hare; Fonts

From: Jess Parmer
Subject: Urban Legends


I am very much intrigued by your suggestion that an extended literary
metaphor might constitute an urban legend. I have explored some of the
materials which you have suggested might be components of such a legend.
Probably the single most comprehensive literary source, comprising every
feature which you listed in your Nov. 22/91 posting in HUMANIST, is that
of Juvenal's third Satire (imitated by Boileau & Samuel Johnson & perhaps
John Le Carre). It stood at the end of a long tradition of humorous
poetry on the city, starting with Aristophanes's Archrnians, and running
from Theocritus 15, probably through Lucilius, to Horace (sorry, it's
Aristophanes's Acharnians!). I've noticed in those works which precede
Juvenal 3 that the archetypical narrative viewpoint was that of a naif,
and that this device lent itself to the fable (Country Mouse & City Mouse)
format. Juvenal incorporated this format in the lines on the _opici
mures_ (lines 197-211), or "The Mice Who Speak No Greek."

But Juvenal's picture of Rome is much darker than that of the cities of hi
s predecessors, or even than that of his imitators: his spirit is far
better comprehended in Le Carre's _A Small Town in Germany_ in which Bonn
comes to stand, in its layout and its denizens, for much that was immoral
in post-WWII Europe and America. STIG indeed has a Gothis feel to it, in
so far as it resembles Third Reich Gothic. This darkness, along with some
details, seem to me to have been derived from Juvenal and to represent an
extension of this metaphor into an age of mass destruction roughly
comparable to Juvenal's vision of the destruction of native Roman stock
under a deluge of foreign immigrants.

This is all that time permits for now, but, please, let's continue.

Jess Parmer
Department of Romance Languages
Bowling Green State University