March 18th, 2012


Bringing Sir Philip Sidney's Funeral to Life

I'm mostly a lurker on the Sidney-Spenser list these days, but thought this link might be of wider interest...

In his Brief Lives, John Aubrey recalls an early encounter with moving pictures:

When I was a boy 9 yeares old, I was with my father at one Mr. Singleton's, an alderman and wollen-draper in Glocester, who had in his parlour, over the chimney, the whole description of the funerall, engraved and printed on papers pasted together, which, at length, was, I beleeve, the length of the room at least; but he had contrived it to be turned upon two pinnes, that turning one of them made the figures march all in order. It did make such a strong impression on my young phantasy, that I remember it as if it were but yesterday. I could never see it elsewhere. [....] Tis pitty it is not re-donne (Aubrey Brief Lives 2, 249-50)

Aubrey's wish has come true - for now you too can stand in Mr Singleton's parlour, thanks to this multimedia presentation. It works best if you have William Byrd's "Come to me Grief Forever" (written for the same occasion) in the background.

The page is not new, I should add. In fact, it already feels quite antiquated - but that is perhaps not a bad thing, considering.