This fellow matches Ackroyd’s description of 17th c. London street musicians known as “Merry Andrews,” “Jack Puddings,” or “Pickled Herrings.”
“[T]hey wore a costume with donkey’s ears, and accompanied other performers with their fiddles.”
from London a Biography by Peter Ackroyd
Apparently they were pretty surly fellows. Their nicknames were sarcastically bestowed on them by the crowd.
I love it when I read stuff like this, then as I wonder what depictions referred to in the text actually look like, googling them and finding them.
Then there’s this one:
“The most famous pictorial series displaying London characters [is], Marcellus Laroon’s “The Cryes of the City of London Drawne after the Life,” published in 1687… [In it] Laroon… chose a particular female vagrant to exemplify what he called ‘The London Beggar.’ He did not give her name, but in fact she was known as Nan Mills who, according to the most recent editors of his work, was ‘not only a good physiognomist but an excellent mimic… and could adapt her countenance to every circumstance of distress.’ There is no reason to doubt that she was also poor, and conscious of her degradation.”
(Jupe note: Physiognomist: One who studies, or is an expert in, physiognomy; one who studies the outer appearance of the person (primarily the face) to acquire knowledge of the inner personality… I had to look it up)
I also started re-reading “The Tempest” yesterday.
Preparing for eventually seeing Julie Taymor’s new cinema interpretation starring the excellent Hellen Mirren as a female Prospero (ProsperA) (trailer embedded above).
No more time for blogging. Off to do errands