Feature: A Poet in Bohemia - 13 Nov
Sunday 13 November, 7.45-8.30pm
This looks interesting:
"David Vaughan traces the journey of the English poet, Elizabeth Weston, to Bohemia in the 16th century, where she made her name as one of the foremost poets of her age.
Weston's place in the pantheon of English literature is now being recognised thanks to newly available collected writings. David talks to a number of scholars both in the UK and in the Czech Republic about her life and work, including: editor Brenda Hosington; writer Benjamin Woolley; and Susan Reynolds, curator of the Czech and Slovak collections in the British Library.
David also visits locations associated with the poet and her family, including Trebon Castle in South Bohemia, Loretto Square, the church where she is buried in Prague, and the place of her birth, Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire."
... and why not??
Originally Posted by french frank
Looks a bit like Good Queen Bess:
The first of the Chipping Norton Set ...
Anyway - the programme looks interesting.
Yes, a tempting programme. There don't seem to have been many English women writers before her - Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, and her contemporary Mary Sidney (who looked even more like Queen Bess). Actually, a feature on Mary Sidney, and that whole Wilton Circle, would also be interesting.
Not many women writers, full stop. In France, Christine de Pisan is often considered the first professional woman writer, and interesting because more secular and political than Julian or Margery, though a bit later than them (15th century).
Originally Posted by aeolium
Did anyone else listen to this? I thought it was well presented and gave a good introduction to Weston's short life. The digressions on her step-father the alchemist Edward Kelly and (briefly) on the education of women in those times were interesting. There were quite a few extracts from her poetry, in translation, and here I thought it was difficult to detect anything particularly distinguished about the writing - but this may well be due to the translation. It's a shame, though understandable, that she did not attempt anything in English to give a better idea of her style (other poets such as Marlowe and later in the C17 Milton and Marvell produced poetry in both English and Latin).
It is a melancholy thought that her early death perhaps spared her the horrors of the Thirty Years War, which started in the city of her death only a few years later.
Does anyone know about the wider status of Latin poetry at this time? Was it perhaps more common in continental Europe, in that Latin could still have functioned a common language for the elite and thus have allowed Latin poets to reach a wider audience, and readers to access a kind of 'world poetry' genre? Was England happier to stick with its native language for 'learned' poetry than the rest of Europe because of the relative isolation from the circle of European universities granted by the Channel?
[Too many questions in one post? Yes? No?]
Not sure how you measure the degree of commonness, but Milton was writing Latin poetry in the mid-17th century. There are some notes on neo-Latin here.