Whether Venus could become the Muse?
on June 12, 1593 British for the first time learned a name William Shakespeare . It was printed on the title page of the poem “ Venus and Adonis “.
However, the title page was not absolutely usual. Or rather, them was two. On one the name of the poem, on another - a name of the author and dedication the column to Southampton was printed. Neither to, nor after that title pages were not printed in such strange way. There is an impression as if the poem was going to be published anonymously (at that time it was usual practice), but at the last minute for some reason decided to enter a name of the author and printed an additional leaf.
Before being allowed for printing, manuscripts had to be registered in the Publishing register. “ Venus and Adonis “ it was brought there on April 18. Without name of the author .
Why at the last minute, how circulation was printed, William Shakespeare decided to place in the book the name together with dedication? And why the publisher just did not reprint all leaf entirely?
To try to resolve this riddle, let`s address contents of the poem. In it it is told how beautiful and ardent Venus met in young and virgin Adonis`s wood and tempted, despite his resistance. Then the young man was broken off by a wild boar, and she mourned his death. Before it the heroine hinted at the birth of the child who will be favourites of gods and the patron of the father.
Whether there was a poem simple retelling of the myth or reminiscence of real events? Let`s look that the author tells about Venus. He says that she is a blonde, the beautiful equestrian caracoling on a horse of breed of Janet and it has a strange addiction: to admire how horses copulate to learn at them new methods of art of love.
And in the biography of Mary Sidney , the countess Pembroke, is told that she was a magnificent equestrian, bred horses of rare Spanish breed of Janet and often spied upon how her favourites that … generally, with the same purpose, as Venus in the poem copulate. And on Mary`s portrait it is possible to see that she was a blonde.
Mary never was in Stratford, and Shakespeare did not leave it at the time of the early youth.
However in 1579 Mary together with the brother - the famous soldier and the poet Philipp Sidney - spent summer in the Canterbury estate where she often rode on the neighboring woods. The same year Christopher Marlo graduated from Royal school in Canterbury. Among other disciplines students studied riding and every morning made walks - on the same neighboring woods.
Marlo was 15 years old, Mary at this time - 18. Two years she was married to the count Pembroke. The husband was more senior than it for 30 years, and she was his third wife. It had no children - neither from the first, nor from second marriage, nor from numerous mistresses. Most likely, the count was infertile.
However on April 18, 1580 at Mary the son William Herbert was born . Evil tongues attributed paternity to her brother - the rumor considered them as lovers. Mary was not too concerned by these rumors - she always was independent and capricious, took from life what considered it necessary - and so generously gave. In one of the estates she suited the well-known Literary academy where all literary color of London gathered. The uncommon poet, she voluntarily faded into the background of the great brother, having devoted many years editing and the publication of its verses, considering a duty to provide him literary glory after his untimely death in battle.
Marlo was one of frequenters of its salon... When his close friend died, the poet Thomas Watson, Marlo undertook the edition of its sonnets. This book he devoted Mary, having described her mind, beauty and nobility in the most enthusiastic epithets. This time it compared it not to Venus, and to the Muse. Perhaps, it was for it and that, and another. Whatever difficult were their relations, they were connected by love to poetry, freedom and knowledge. And maybe, and something bigger.
We will return to William Herbert. He was born on April 18. And poem “ Venus and Adonis “ it was entered in the publishing register in day of its birth. He was 13 years old.
Sixteen years later were published “ Sonnets “ devoted “ to Mr. V. H. “. It occurred on May 20 - in that day when Marlo was arrested for “ blasphemous and heretical views “. In one of “ Sonnets “ the author speaks, addressing the loved friend that his face reminds him the person it mother during a time of its spring.
In 1623 the collected works of Shakespeare - the First were for the first time published by the Folio. It included 36 plays of Shakespeare, but “ Sonnets “ “ Venus and Adonis “ in it was not. William Herbert together with the younger brother took active part in preparation of the edition - on the title page the publisher marked gratitude to these two “ to noble and wise FELLOWS “. He used the word “ fellows “ but not “ brothers “ - so members secret " called each other; brotherhoods “.
Why “ Sonnets “ and “ Venus “ Folio were not included in the First? Perhaps, those who took part in the edition had on that reasons? Perhaps, they were afraid that their contemporaries will understand too much?
Mary died in a year before the edition was published. For several years before she asked one of friends to invite to her in the estate of the king Jacob to acquaint him with “ person Shakespeare “. Whom did she mean? It is unlikely the actor William Shakespeare - his king knew earlier as he was a big fan of theater and did not miss performances which William already put by then as the producer...
We meet one more mention of Venus in the play “ Heinrich the Fifth “. The king speaks: “ Venus and Saturn in connection in a fiery sign! In the sky seven stars are visible! What tell about it tables? “.
Unlike many other questions, on this question it is possible to find the exact answer. Tables say that connection of Venus and Saturn in a sign of the Lion happened on May 30, 1593 - in day of official death of Marlo . That day there was a solar eclipse, and in the sky Galaxies were visible.
Marlo executed 29 and a half years at this time - astrologers call this age the termination of the first a cycle of Saturn - transition to a true maturity and self-knowledge. So connection of Venus and Saturn happened not only in the sky, but also in poetry.
Shortly before the “ death “ Marlo wrote the first part of the poem “ Gero and Leandre “. In dedication to the poem he addresses admirers “ Venus and Adonis “ - the poem which was issued in two weeks after he was considered as a dead! Of course, he could read the poem in the manuscript. But from where he could know that it will be published?
A few years ago professor Malyutov, the expert with a world name in definition of authorship, investigated two poems - “ Venus and Adonis “ and “ Gero and Leandre “ - by means of the newest methods of mathematical and structural linguistics also came to a conclusion that of the poem are written by the same hand .
As for the count of Southampton to whom poems " were devoted; Venus and Adonis “ and “ Lucrecia`s Rape “ - there are no certificates that he was familiar with William Shakespeare. It cannot be told about Marlo in any way - they with the count together studied in Cambridge, and some time of Marlo was his mentor.
Perhaps, Pembrukov we could find a lot of interesting in archive, but, unfortunately, their estate burned down, and together with it and all papers. Shortly before it the " theater burned; " Globe; - the fires in England were frequent. And during revolution when puritans closed all theaters, having declared them a nursery of a sin and debauchery, they burned the estate of the famous patron and patron of Shakespearean troupe lord Stanley. He was a passionate fanatic of theater, having refused for the sake of it court and political career, considering as their empty entertainments.
Lord William Stanley was the last of Mohicans “ Golden Age “. He died the same year when all theaters of England were closed, without having managed to learn that in several months his house with an invaluable collection of books and manuscripts will be killed in fire...