Monday, January 21, 2013

Scarlet Panacea

I came across this in John Aubrey's Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme;
"Johannes Medicos. who lived and wrot[e] in the time of Ed[ward] 2, and was Physi[cian] to that king, gives an account of his [curing] the Prince of [the] Smallpox (a distemper but then lately known in England) by ordering his bed, his room, and his attendants to be all in scarlet, and imputes [the] cure in great measure to the [virtue] of [the] colour."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Knot of Amber Hair

Back in September I mentioned that I was going to read Christopher Marlowe's play 'Tamburlaine the Great' after discovering that he (Tamburlaine) had red hair. Now I've finally read it.

When I started I didn't expect to actually find anything red hair related, but I'd wanted to read it anyway and the slightest thought that rouge locks might pop up in it somewhere pushed me to finally do it. Anyway, I was pleased and surprised to find that a mention of Tamburlaine's hair colour did pop up.

The character Menaphon describes his appearance as thus;

"His lofty brows in folds do figure death,
And in their smoothness amity and life;
About them hangs a knot of amber hair,
Wrapped in curls, as fierce Achilles' was,
On which the breath of Heaven delights to play,
Making it dance with wanton majesty."

The comparison to the red-haired Achilles makes it doubly pleasing.