Dr Marcus Harmes presents "Reasonless Rhymes and Vulgar Auditors: The Prince of Wales, Proverbs and Oral Cultures in Jacobean England".
Proverbs remain current and widely used in modern spoken language, but we perhaps take them for granted and are certainly not threatened by them. This reaction is different to how people in sixteenth and seventeenth century England viewed proverbs.
Society at this time was overwhelmingly illiterate, and short, rhyming statements offered comment and instruction on many aspects of life. Proverbs could be wise or obscene, obvious or epigrammatically obscure, and for some people they were frightening precisely because in an oral rather than a literate culture, they spread so quickly and the ideas they suggested could find a wide and receptive audience.
In particular, this presentation will focus on a proverb that was circulating in London in about 1605. This proverb reads: ‘Henry the 8 pulld down abbeys and cells, but Henry the 9 shall pull down Bishops and bells’
In a few words this proverb suggested nothing less than total revolution in the politics of religion of Jacobean England. Dr Harmes will discuss the ways elites at the time feared this proverb, regarded it as seditious and attempted to punish its authors.
This presentation will appeal particularly to those interested in history of religion in England, as well as those interested in the Jacobean period.
Dr Harmes is a Lecturer in Study Skills at University of Southern Queensland. His research interest is in British History.
Followed by a light supper.
Members $3, Guests $6