Elizabeth I

This blog mainly is about Lewis Carroll’s, Henry Holiday’s and Joseph Swain’s The Hunting of the Snark. In the year 2026, the beast will celebrate its 150th birthday. Until then there still is enough time to rethink the Snark.

See also https://redd.it/4r90nv and https://redd.it/4dcqg1.

In his Illuminated Snark, John Tufail assumed that the night sky in the front cover of The Hunting of the Snark could be a map. Together with my assumption that Henry Holiday drew inspiration from several paintings by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, John’s paper helped me to find the Ditchley Portrait. That again helped me to find the painting by an anonymous artist depicting Elizabeth I at old age.

Goetz Kluge, Munich, 2017-08-28

Snarks Have Five Unmistakable Marks

    “Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again
        The five unmistakable marks
    By which you may know, wheresoever you go,
        The warranted genuine Snarks.

  1.     “Let us take them in order. The first is the taste,
            Which is meagre and hollow, but crisp:
        Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist,
            With a flavour of Will-o’-the-wisp.
  2.     “Its habit of getting up late you’ll agree
            That it carries too far, when I say
        That it frequently breakfasts at five-o’clock tea,
            And dines on the following day.
  3.     “The third is its slowness in taking a jest.
            Should you happen to venture on one,
        It will sigh like a thing that is deeply distressed:
            And it always looks grave at a pun.
  4.     “The fourth is its fondness for bathingmachines,
            Which is constantly carries about,
        And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes –
            A sentiment open to doubt.
  5.     “The fifth is ambition. It next will be right
            To describe each particular batch:
        Distinguishing those that have feathers, and bite,
            And those that have whiskers, and scratch.

    “For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm,
        Yet, I feel it my duty to say,
    Some are Boojums –” The Bellman broke of in alarm,
        For the Baker had fainted away.

    “He remarked to me then,” said that mildest of men,
        “ ‘If your Snark be a Snark, that is right:
    Fetch it home by all means – you may serve it with greens,
        And it’s handy for striking a light.

    “ ‘You may seek it with thimbles—and seek it with care;
        You may hunt it with forks and hope;
    You may threaten its life with a railway-share;
        You may charm it with smiles and soap –’ ”

    (“That’s exactly the method,” the Bellman bold
        In a hasty parenthesis cried,
    “That’s exactly the way I have always been told
        That the capture of Snarks should be tried!”)

Snark in the Woods

Forestry Commission of England:

NEWS RELEASE No: 16687
14 SEPTEMBER 2017

Arts Council England grant awarded for exciting forest theatre experiences

The Arts Council has awarded £139,000 to the Forestry Commission and theatre partner Burn the Curtain to develop their outdoor theatre experiences. The substantial grant will enable Burn the Curtain to tour their sell-out evening theatre show, The Company of Wolves, based on the stories by Angela Carter, to three more forest locations this autumn.

In addition, a new theatre show will be developed around the nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll, ‘The Hunting of the Snark’. The experience will tour across seven forests in 2018 and will be accompanied by ‘Snark Hunter’, an innovative app which will bring the poem to life for forest visitors across the country. []

(Thanks to Doug Howick for drawing my attention to this.)

Links:

Waistcoat Poetry

 

There was an old man of Port Grigor,
Whose actions were noted for vigour;
He stood on his head
till his waistcoat turned red,
That eclectic old man of Port Grigor.

Edward Lear, 1872

 

He was black in the face,
and they scarcely could trace
The least likeness to what he had been:
While so great was his fright
that his waistcoat turned white –
A wonderful thing to be seen!

Lewis Carroll, from “The Hunting of the Snark”, 1876

 

What I tell you three times is true!

The Bellman’s Rule is stated in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, line #7 and line #335.

#! /usr/bin/haskell
import Data.List
statementList =
  ["Grand Fenwick steals our jobs!"
  ,"There are 10 Snark hunters."
  ,"There are 10 Snark hunters."
  ,"There are 9 Snark hunters."
  ,"Grand Fenwick steals our jobs!"
  ,"There are 9 Snark hunters."
  ,"6 * 7 = 39"
  ,"6 * 7 = 39"
  ,"There are 10 Snark hunters."
  ,"6 * 7 = 42"
  ,"Grand Fenwick steals our jobs!"
  ,"There are 10 Snark hunters."
  ,"6 * 7 = 39"
  ,"There are 10 Snark hunters."
  ]
atLeastThrice :: [String] -> [String]
atLeastThrice sL = [head grp | grp <- group $ sort sL, length grp >= 3]

Result (if loaded and executed in GHCI):
Prelude> atLeastThrice statementList
["6 * 7 = 39","Grand Fenwick steals our jobs!","There are 10 Snark hunters."]