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puppets-msgrtf - Stefans Florilegium Archive by lonyoo


									puppets-msg - 10/31/97
Medieval puppets.

NOTE: See also the files: theater-msg, theater-bib, jesters-msg, Jestrs-Mumrs-lnks,
masks-msg, humor-msg, jokes-msg, juggling-msg, masks-mumming-lnks.


This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have
collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to
1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files
are available on the Internet at:

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics
were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was
removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no
claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The
copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is
published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

Thank you,
    Mark S. Harris                        THLord Stefan li Rous
                                          Stefan at

From: David Salley (6/24/94)
To: markh at sphinx
RE>Historical Analogy??

There's a book at the main branch library here in Buffalo titled something
like _The History of Puppets in England_. It has to be _the_ most comprehen-
sive book on puppet history every written. Despite the title, he covers
most of Europe and traces the history of several stock characters (e.g. Punch
Judy, Harlequin, etc.) from live actors to puppets. When I go to the
library the next time, I'll get all the info like author and such and post
it to the Rialto because you're not the first to inquire.
                                                       - Dagonell

SCA Persona   :   Lord Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake, CSC, CK, CTr
Habitat       :   East Kingdom, AEthelmearc Principality, Rhydderich Hael Barony
Disclaimer    :   A society that needs disclaimers has too many lawyers.
Internet      :   salley at
USnail-net    :   David P. Salley, 136 Shepard Street, Buffalo, New York 14212-2029

From: salley at (David Salley)
Subject: Re: Historical Analogy??
Summary: Perhaps a _different_ model ;-)
Date: 15 Jun 94 12:28:05 GMT
Organization: Canisius College, Buffalo NY. 14208

I don't remember the exact years or names off the top of my head,
but I know exactly which book it's in at the library...

For several hundred years, there has been an annual fair in the south
of London. One Lord Mayor of London decided there was profit to be had
from the performers. Certain types of performers were charged with a
license fee, others were banned outright. The main criteria was the amount
of equipment you had. If you were encumbered, you paid for a license.
If you could cut and run when the cops showed up, you were banned.
Marionette puppeteers had to get licenses, glove puppeteers were banned.

When he finally died, the next Lord Mayor of London, who missed the glove
puppets at the fair, recinded the ban and cancelled the license fee. All
performers were welcome at the fair. At the very next fair, all the puppeteers
both marionette and glove had 'Hizzoner So-and-so Lord Mayor of London'
puppets, a caricature of the mayor who had banned them. A puppet who was
used to play the part of a buffoon or fool. ;-) ;-)

I'm going to have to think about trying my hand at puppet making this
summer. What exactly does Tony Provine look like anyway? ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)

                                                       - Dagonell

SCA Persona : Lord Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake, CSC, CK, CTr
Habitat         : East Kingdom, AEthelmearc Principality, Rhydderich Hael Barony
Internet    : salley at
USnail-net : David P. Salley, 136 Shepard Street, Buffalo, New York 14212-2029

From: umspeary at (Wendy Lyn Speary)
Subject: Re: early puppets
Date: 19 Dec 1994 03:22:31 GMT
Organization: The University of Manitoba

In <3cr3ac$up at> bootman at (James Bootman) writes:

>we are launching a home school project into 500-1000AD does
>anyone have any info on where I can look for help, any
>historical data on puppets/theater, especially for children,
>sounds impossible but thought I would ask, thank you, julienne

Not impossible my Lord, just difficult.
One of the earliest depictions of a puppet we have is in the Romance of
Alexander, one illustration clearly shows three ladies (perhaps girls)
sitting in front of a puppet theatre shaped like a castle.
We know that such things existed but to prove it is another matter.
Some books that may help: Charles Magnin, histoire des marionettes en europe.
Revised edition, Paris 1862
      George Speaight, the history of the english puppet theatre. London,1955
      Max von Boehn, dolls and puppets, Revised edition 1966.

Edited by Mark S. Harris            puppets-msg              Page 2 of 6
Your local library should be able to help. If not try the local
university library.
 I wish you luck.

From: salley at (David Salley)
Subject: Provine Puppet (was Re: WWW site for SCA stuff !)
Date: 13 May 95 15:39:24 GMT
Organization: Canisius College, Buffalo NY. 14208

Hal Ravn (Hal Heydt) writes:
>                 Just the other day I dug out some older
> pictures to have scanned. I thought that one of the more
> 'infamous' people ever connected with the Society might be of
> interest: Tony Provine. Look for it in a couple of weeks.

Yes!!!! Now I can do a puppet of him! ;-) ;-)

For those who missed the discussion last year, in the summer of 1647,
John Warner, Lord Mayor of London, banned puppets from the annual
St. Bartholomew Fair. In the spring of 1648, he died. In the summer
of 1648, all the puppeteers had a `John Warner' puppet speaking the
lines of a fool!

      "Here lies my lord Mayor, under this stone,
       That last Bartholomew's Fair, no puppets would own,
       But next Bartholomew's Fair, who liveth to see,
       Shall view my lord Mayor, a puppet to be!"
                        -- Broadside, 1648
                                                       - Dagonell

SCA Persona : Lord Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake, CSC, CK, CTr
Habitat         : East Kingdom, AEthelmearc Principality, Rhydderich Hael Barony
Internet    : salley at (Please use this, reply may not work.)
USnail-net : David P. Salley, 136 Shepard Street, Buffalo, New York 14212-2029

From: baronfum at (Baron Fum)
Subject: "Oh excellent motion!"- puppets in period
Date: 22 Oct 1995 18:20:19 -0400
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)

Good gentles,
     I like Captain Pod of Pye Corner am becoming somewhat of a puppeteer
or, more in period, a motion man. What I have found so far is that whils
sources exist for the presence of medieval puppetry, there is very little
as far as the actual construction of puppets. At least three types were
known, those being the "jiggling" puppet, the glove puppet, and the
marionette. While puppets were well known in Greece and Rome, they are
virtually absent from sources between 400 to 1200. Caucer may be
referring to puppets in two quotations:
     ". . .let this man have place,
     He in the waist is shaped as well as I;
     This were a popet in an arm to embrace
     for any woman small and fair of face."

Edited by Mark S. Harris            puppets-msg              Page 3 of 6
      "In all this world,. . .
      There was no man so wise, that he could thench
      so gay a popolete, or such a wench,"

It could be a reference to puppets, or again this could be a reference to
a doll, the the two being related.
     There are also some representations of puppet theatre in
illuminations, notably two in The Romance of Alexander, found in the
Bodlian library, showing spectators at puppet theatres that appear to be
of the glove puppet type. The theatres are made to look like two towers
joined by a parapet with a scrim behind which the puppeteer could work.
One of the two illustrations looks for all the world like a Punch and Judy
type of presentation, though Punch as a charachter derived from Italian
Commedia del Arte is about 100 years out of period
     A reference is made to a religious puppet presentation of the
resurresction at Witney in 1500, at which a comical charachter of a
watchmen appeared who shook so to the noise of sticks being smacked
together that he was known as Jack Snacker of Whitney.
     In August 1561 Lady Catherine, Duchess of Suffolk, recorded in her
household accounts the payment of 6s. 8d. to "two men which played upon
the puppets."
     Finally, just out of period, Ben Johnson in Bartholomew Faire
includes an entire puppet play performance, this in 1614. It is
postulated that this play was lifted from a play that Johnson himself had
written for the puppet theatre some 15 years earlier, in 1599.
     I am obviously interested in sources for medieval puppetry and
puppets- if you have any ideas please send them to me by e-mail or join
the thread here (and copy me in e-mail). I would also appreciate any
ideas for my actual theatre- for why do the research if we do not want to
do the play?
     I plan to make up the next theatre (the last was destryed) in the
fasion of the ones in the Bodlian miniatures, and make up the puppets as
glove type puppets with heads of papier mache (the old ones, now in some
disrepair, were combination glove and rod puppets with heads made of
"super sculpy"). There shall be several stock charachters, The old crone,
the young lovers, the dottard, the haughty knight, the yeoman, the king,
and (being from the Mid Realm) the Dragon- and of course I'll be having
the Devil. We (the popets and I) shall play forth old romances, tales of
classical nature, some historical dramas of the SCA, and everything with a
mixture of topical humor and mixed and mashed period, person, and place as
is proper for the puppet theatre to do according to research for in The
Blind Beggar of Bednam Green (1600) you are told, "You shall likewise see
the famous City of Norwich, and the stabbing of Julius Ceasar in the
French Capitol by a sort of Dutch Mesapotamians. . ."

Thank you all for your time and interest- let me know what you know or
come and see the show.


Ritter Baron Karl Aerdigwidder von Zauberberg, C.P.
Baron Andelcrag, Middle Kingdom

From: becky_b at (Becky L Becker)

Edited by Mark S. Harris             puppets-msg             Page 4 of 6
To: markh at
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 16:33:33 EST

By the way, on the puppet front, I have a wonderful book called "The Last
Days of Mr. Punch" by D.H. Myers, 1971, McCall Publishing. The Punch and
Judy may be out-of-period, but the precessors were not. Anyway, it is a
delightful book, and may be useful for those building travelling puppet
stages. I don't believe it is in print because I purchased mine in a
used book store. My daughter (Alys of the Lair - Protector of Dragons)
and I own a mundane puppet theater.

Lady Rebekah

From: baronfum at (David K. Schreur)
Subject: Period Puppetry
Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 08:26:35 -0500

Dear Gentles,

Any who are interested in period puppetry may find some information in an
article including bibliography that I have placed on my web page. The URL
is as follows:

follow the links to puppets, poetry, songs, etc.

Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 23:53:17 -0500 (CDT)
From: Jasper Fieth <cem8780 at>
Subject: Re: SC - apples

> I did something really dumb today. There's a farm near us that has a
>scarecrow contest, haunted house, cornstalk maze and all that and they
>have hayrides out to the orchards where you can pick your own apples. I
>took the kids out there today and they had so many varieties and they
> all looked so good that we came home with 37 pounds of apples.
>Anyone have any period apple treats that I can make up for the fighters
>to take to "Not Necessarily Pointless War" this weekend?
>Your help would be greatly appreciated. I can't get into my kitchen!

Do you need documentation by this weekend, or will a word do?
I have three books worth of apple-things, but I'd have to hunt for the
documentation on most of them...

Here's one, though it is more of a craft than a receipe:
Peel apple.
using a sharp implement of destruction, carve a face into the apple.
Mount apple on stick.
Allow apple to dry in the sun.

Edited by Mark S. Harris              puppets-msg            Page 5 of 6
What you have is a shrunken "head" that was used in poppets of the period.
Doubters can go to a good doll collectors convention, or browse through
all the books in my mothers attic... she's the fanatic on that one.

Esko Sola

<the end>

Edited by Mark S. Harris            puppets-msg              Page 6 of 6

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