Friday, March 25, 2011

Early Modern Carnivalesque - March 2011

Welcome to the March 2011 Carnivalesque blog carnival!  

Thanks to Sharon Howard for the opportunity to be your host for this roll-call of early modern studies online from the last two months.  It's been a pleasure to sift through so much richness.


(Above: Pieter Balten's Grand Kermesse of St. George in the Village)

Visual Culture

A forthcoming exhibition at Duke University on flap anatomies inspired a post at diapsalmata on these meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations with unfolding parts -- and a dissection of the coy, somewhat exhibitionist poses of the figures.  (Related: modern-day codexical carver The Book Surgeon) Parallel to the January 2011 PMLA featuring Juan Carreno de Miranda's less naked portrait of young Eugenia Martinez Vallejo (1680), who has suffered the retrospective diagnosis of Prader-Willi syndrome, Alberti's Window has a post and lively discussion of Lavinia Fontana's lycanthropic portrait of young Antonietta Gonzalez (c. 1595).  Res Obscura examines some quite youthful drinkers and smokers in portraiture of the Dutch Golden Age. For more on Lavinia Fontana, see Monica Bowen's thoughtful post on Fontana and female self-portraiture at Three Pipe Problem, complementing the attention Titian's Venus with a Mirror receives from both Bowen at Alberti's Window and Hasan Niyazi at Three Pipe Problem.

(Below: the two portraits commissioned by Charles II of Eugenia Martinez Vallejo, La Monstrua Vestida and La Monstrua Desnuda)

Crime and Politics

Maddy's Ramblings surveys the history of Malabar Hill in Mumbai and reconsiders the "Malabar pirates" -- navy, brotherhood, resistance collective, pilgrims . . . Caravaggio's spectacular rap sheet is on display at The History Blog. Felicity Henderson at the Royal Society weighs evidence, motive, and opportunity for Isaac Newton's alleged destruction of a portrait of Robert Hooke. Conversion Narratives sniffs out the 1587 execution of Jesuit priest Thomas Pilchard, and the fishy code of his name as used in later testimonies. Tim Abbott at Walking the Berkshires investigates the case of Frances Dongan and transatlantic rape culture. Executed Today commemorates the forced suicide of a former imperial favorite, 1799.

Science and Technology

Sixteenth-century typographical errors dance a grand kermesse of their own at Wynken de Worde. Ptak Science Books examines a sixteenth-century "wooden internet" and celebrates a Galilean 400th anniversary (March 24, 1611). The Renaissance Mathematicus charts the descension of astrology in the mid-1600s. The Chirurgeon's Apprentice prepares a dose of corpse medicine.

Fashions in Dress

A guest post by Giles Milton (Nathaniel's Nutmeg) at Georgian London looks at the curious case of that original eonist the Chevalier d'Eon.  (Related: The Chevalier d'Eon and His Worlds: Gender, Espionage, and Politics in the Eighteenth Century, Continuum, 2010)

(Above: The Chevalier [at right] in a duel, from John Coulthart's blog)

Nick at Mercurius Politicus unfolds the history behind a metaphorical insult based on types of cloth in his post "Tongue of Saye." Kendra Van Cleave at Demode Couture catalogues a vast array of eighteenth-century ladies' riding habits and redingotes in a two-part series.

Zoology and Travel Narratives

BibliOdyssey plays Linneaus with Buffon's Beasts and follows La Perouse to farther shores. Res Obscura takes us on a Noachian voyage to the moon. Sundry Translations and Other Tangentalia translates a record of Alessandro Malaspina's 1789 expedition, an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Finally, the Contemporary Jacobean Society read up on witches and their familiars in the confessions of the Flower sisters.


  1. This is great! Some of these I've read, but most are new to me. Thanks for taking the time to compile it. - Ben

  2. Thank you for hosting the March Carnivalesque! Delighted to get a mention amongst such wonderful company!

    Kind Regards
    H Niyazi
    Three Pipe Problem

  3. Thanks for mentioning a few of my posts! I'm honored to be included here. I look forward to reading the other posts that you have compiled here.

    "M" from Alberti's Window

  4. Thank you all so much for the kind words! Truly my pleasure, and an inspiration to see the fascinating work you're posting.


  5. Thanks for the link and for putting together a wonderful carnival!

  6. My pleasure! Thanks for your kind words. I'm a great admirer of your blog! EB