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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Historical Enigmas #1

History. 45 years ago a history teacher, Mr. Elliot Olson (esquire, he was also a lawyer) asked me what I thought history was. I closed my eyes, visualized, then replied, "Ideological disputes and a lot of people just standing around, flossing I think." He gave me a good grade. Not an A, but just good enough to get me interested forever.

Francis Bacon was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, and author who, it may safely be said, popularized the Scientific Method. Some historians credit him with its creation, others credit him with the modernization of Empiricism. The two factions actually went to war over this and got very loud on smokey battlefields until they captured a few of each other and, under threat of torture, told on themselves. When confessions were reviewed, it was obvious only one side was involved, if that many, and everybody went home in favor of Bacon's knighthood. Those few combatants still making trouble claimed Sir Francis wrote Shakespeare's plays, but this was merely contentious flapdoodle --a misinterpretation.



Shakespeare asked his wife, Anne Hathaway,  "You think more men would buy my poetry if I put bacon in it?"
She said they'll even be putting bacon in chocolate someday so why not? She was right. I've tried it and it gets stuck between my teeth just like regular bacon. Unfortunately, the historian who interviewed the Shakespeares capitalized his B's and the story fueled speculation of nebulous authorship. You may or may not accept this solution to the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy but especially after reading the sonnets, flossing is a good idea.

20 comments:

  1. Umm...As this is one of your more frivolous fluffs, still I enjoy it nonetheless but cannot think of a response. I know your great following here will make me chagrined at this.....

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  2. Willie-- I appreciate your comment immensely, and besides, you knew Elliot.

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  3. Geo, your fluffs are never frivolous. And you would have made an inspiring history teacher.

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  4. Bacon? I like bacon....Prithee Sir, pass the bacon from yonder balcony to where shines the bright morning light of the fruit of my hens labour......mmmmmmm bacon...bacon and eggs...bacon and eggs and toast....bacaon and, well, basically anything but Shakespeare.

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  5. Jon-- Unfortunately history seldom cooperates with the facts as I imagine them. But thanks!

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  6. You have a way of explaining things that just makes history come alive.

    Pearl

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  7. Of course, Shakespeare did write HAMlet so maybe Bacon was involved lol.

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  8. cette poésie peut-elle donner du cholestérol ?

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  9. God I wish you'd been my history teacher. That's the best summary I've ever seen.

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  10. I was going to type, 'your posts are like a puzzle, an enigma,' when a fat, hot light bulb went over my head.

    They are though, trainride or no. And here's why. I read them, then I have to sit and look out the window for a bit and decide *how* I am going to respond. In kind? Which is to say a bit silly but with some scrap of evidence that a latent, devastating wit has come in contact with your words? With my own bit of historical inaccuracies? With a little story of my U.S. History teacher in 11th grade who sported a long, silver braid and whose eyebrows were perpetually standing at attention toward the world. He was mischievous -- and famous the school over for not only riding an Indian motorcycle but sometimes wearing black, fringed leather chaps over his jeans. And he was always subverting our expectation, which was that history was no longer fluid, just because it had already passed.

    Anyway, there's my response, I guess.

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  11. Pearl-- Most kind! But I suspect we ARE history trying to explain itself.

    Delores-- Ah, that's how it seems to be or not to be --there is still some question.

    Arno-- Oui, la poésie doit être accompagné de vin - comme solvant.

    Austan-- But yes, the standing around, the flossing, I was there. Thank you!

    Suze-- Delightful response! And what a delightful U.S. History teacher. Thank you!

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  12. Bacon appreciated a good Meadow at the end of the garden and was married to one of my ancestor's sisters so I think whatever he wrote I would have been happy to stroll with him in his garden.
    Happy frivolity to you this year dear Geo.

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  13. Jeneane-- I suspect it's all one garden, Lady M. Your ancestor-in-law improved it greatly and so do you.

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  14. Well, I can't speak for any other men, but I'm quite sure my husband would find Shakespeare considerably more palatable if it came with a healthy (unhealthy?) side order of bacon.

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  15. Susan-- Thanks! You may have noticed (above) Arno is also concerned with cholesterol. So again, I recommend wine as a solvent --as needed.

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  16. Poor Bacon. Every time they need to malign someone they attach him to Shakespeare. They did it to Marlow,The Earl of somewhere, even the Queen.

    Shakespeare was a plywright and we all know the theatre is the devil's workshop.

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  17. Thanks, DB.! But your life in the theatre does not seem to have corrupted you. Devil repellant?

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