Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Something About #EdmundSpenser

When Professor Childermass and Fergie attend the big strikeout contest in Duston Heights, they’re there for some fun (too bad "back, back, back” hadn’t been coined yet) but also to try and discern whether that strange pitching robot of Evaristus Sloane’s was present, too.

Reading over the list of pitchers, the professor sees names such Charles Hebden, Al McGee, Jack Humphrey, Spencer Talus ...
The professor's finger stopped on the name Spencer Talus. "Ah-hah!" he said, and he gave Fergie a nudge in the ribs. "This fourth name on the list has got to be the robot! Talus is the name of the iron man in a fairy-tale poem by an old writer named Edmund Spenser. My, my! Aren't they the clever ones!"

John took a post-graduate course on Spenser during his time at the University of Chicago - some 50 years ago.  Much more recently, Andrew Hadfield has compiled his list of his top ten favorite Spenser facts and conjectures. We found this nugget interesting:
His first wife, Machabyas Childe, is something of an enigma. She married Edmund Spenser on 27 October 1579 in St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster — a grand venue, which later witnessed the weddings of Samuel Pepys, Sir Winston Churchill, and Harold Macmillan. It is now the church of the House of Commons. Despite my best efforts I can find no other woman called Machabyas in early modern England and I have asked the Dutch and Huguenot Churches for help. She died at some point before 11 June 1594, when Edmund married Elizabeth Boyle.

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