Friday, 13 January 2012

Ink-fragments from the Restoration



Today’s ink-fragments come from the Calendar of State Papers of Charles II, 1675-6, and from the film Libertine inspired by the life of John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester. Wilmot was “the toast of the Restoration court” of Charles II (so-called Merry Monarch) and a “writer of satirical and bawdy poetry.” Lascivious himself, Wilmot had accused Charles II of being sex-obsessed (Charles II acknowledged 12 illegitimate children by various mistresses).

The ink-extracts from the Calendar of State Papers are intriguing. Who is “him”? Where does the bottle of ink come from? How good was it?

....Requesting him to accept this little bottle of bright ink, it being an established fact that in all this city, there is no good ink to be had.......

A subscription to British History Online is required if one wants to find out more. Tempting.


And for our final ink-fragment

John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester (played by Johnny Depp in Libertine) exclaims:
Rochester: Ink! Ink! Bring me ink! 
[Alcock brings him wine] 
Rochester: Not drink, lump! Ink! 



Image: Edwart Collier, Still Life 1697.

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