illustration of Lord Monboddo  by John  Kay (1742-1826)

A further side project I have for the future is determining how literate English speakers were when examining motifs and narratives surrounding these sources. Picture above reminds my that image also has a role. By John Kay’s day the picture in the far left are tailed beings dancing.

Brazil a prime location to find such creatures.

My own understanding to a large extent is based on tracking the development of the subject in Portuguese and Spanish sources. Here the crossover from wild man to ape seems most apparent.

The ‘excessive love’ theme described in the Brazilian source.

Holland seems the entry point for much of this material into Britain. Or an entry point where it will meet up with existing localised forms of narrative.

How fast does it move through the population and does it alter any pre- existing forms?

Going to have to start accurately dating material. Also have to start looking more at the relationship between accesses and trade in live species, pelts, preserved specimens and it’s relationship with the ebb and flow of narrative.

At the moment it looks like Portuguese/ Spanish as the main cluster point, with Holland as the source of the narrative flow into Britain. If that’s the case then trade and geo-politics should reflect that on the ground. If not I should be able to determine the correct pattern from the mix.


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