Thursday, November 29, 2007

Behold Rome's monster on his monstrous beast! 1643

Urban VIII know how to fucking roll! Compare the 1643 version to the notably less terrifying popemobiles of today:

Lame. I definitely prefer the seven-headed beast.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Mad Crue, or, That shall be Tryde, 1625

From the pamphlet:

Then to a Tobacco-house, smoking hot
Went I, and call'd for my Pipe and my Pot,
The Weed was strong, but hardly well dryde,
Well, quoth the Horse-courser, that shal be tryde.

Basically, this tells the story of some dudes (the titular "mad crew") trying lots of fashionable things that gallants would have done in th 17th century. I like that smoking was "cool" right from the start, and is still pretty cool today. Although smoking from a gigantic pipe doesn't seem as glamorous.

Also note the smoker's "crazy eyes." That's what happens to me when I smoke. And I think the other guy is a ruler salesman.

Furthermore, it has come to my attention that lolcats have all but lost their influence on lolmanuscripts. I hereby bring them back into play:

Remember this lolcat?

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Dog's Elegy, or, Rupert's Tears, 1644

Cassidy did another one!:

Apparently Prince Rupert had a magic devil-dog named Boy, who seems to be a 17th century version of Cujo.

(P.S. -- Cassidy can never do any lolmanuscripts ever again. One was bad enough, but this one is too good.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The beginning and endynge of all popery, or popishe kyngedome, 1548

We at LOL Manuscripts are happy to have a special guest blogger with us an unofficial Blog-Off!!! My 13 year old cousin and blogging protégé, Cassidy, is a fan of LOL Manuscripts, and her visit coincided with my latest post. I had the image open when she leap'd into my seat and began typing away. I only gave her the seed of my idea, that the Pope is having a secret rendezvous in the woods with the demon.

Below are two versions of the same image: The first by Cassidy, the second by the experienced blogger. The worst part is that hers is sort of better. I have wasted my life. A younger generation has usurped me. Although hers is a little wordy, the spirit of LOL Manuscripts is there in full force. I like her explanatory paragraph off to the right, just in case you couldn't figure out what was going on. My favorite line is about the "special pope-only courtyard":

While mine is pretty funny, I think the humor is mainly derived from the word "snickerdoodle," which is a very funny word.

Hers is better. Dammit.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A brefe chronycle concernynge the examinacyon and death of the blessed martyr of Christ syr Iohan Oldecastell, 1544

Christian martyrs were totally buff in the 15th Century! Sir John Oldcastle was a soldier and Lollard who was convicted of heresy and escaped from the Tower of London...but then they caught him again after he supposedly committed treason against Henry V, and he was executed.

From the details of his life, many have drawn parallels between Oldcastle and Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff. There's even evidence that Falstaff was initially called "Oldcastle," but his name was changed. I think that's for the best...this guy is most un-Falstaffian.

Sir John Oldcastle was burned (alive? probably not) in 1417 and became a martyr to the people. Plus, he was obviously a total ass kicking soldier and had very nice, almost Jesus-like abs which he apparently liked to show off in battle to intimidate his French enemies. Sexiness is very important in a warfare situation. I like how he's dressed like a cast member from 300.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The beginning and endynge of all popery, or popishe kyngedome, 1548

This pamphlet (by Walter Lynne) is actually full of weird images of the pope paired with animals. I think I might use it again. Here's the caption above the image:

"The Pope thrusteth the lamb through with his sword. And therefore giveth him the Devil the keys, that is, power and might."

I like how the pope just can't seem to commit all the sins at once. I mean, he only has two hands! He has to juggle blighting the harvest and killing a lamb and giving his power over to the devil...he's obviously taken on too much at once. Christianity wasn't destroyed in a day! It takes many many centuries of corruption and deception. Pace yourself, little guy!

I also can't help thinking this is some sort of depraved sex act. I think it's the sword hilt /ball gag situation. As an isolated incident it might be okay, but coupled with that sheep...

Monday, November 12, 2007

An excellent new medley, 1625

"Yo Mama" jokes have a long and varied history in England.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Braue English Iipsie, 1625

Racism and Stereotyping. As old as recorded history, and pretty funny.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Answer to the London lasses folly: or, The new-found father discoverd at the camp, 1685

a.k.a. The Sexiest Lol Manuscript ever!

The Sexy Backstory:
This entire ballad is centered around a "London Lass" who finds herself pregnant. Each stanza is her talking about some dude she slept with as she tries to figure out who knocked her up. She was kind of a giant slut, because she goes through all of these men, and each stanza ends with some version of the line "I thought he was the father."

But all is well, because while pregnant she wanders into a military camp, and she sees a soldier who she thinks would make a good father and pretty much tells him he has to marry her. So he does, and everyone lives happily ever after. Inspiring.

A Note on Nudity:
Lol Manuscripts officially condones nudity if it's tasteful and artistic. I would also add that Woodcut representations of boobs are pretty hot. Sex has always sold, I guess, but I really like the idea that this particular broadside was hidden beneath some 17th century adolescent boy's mattress and got him through some confusing times.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

November the 5. 1605, The Quintessence of Cruelty, 1641

It's Guy Fawkes Day everybody! Lol Manuscripts has addressed Guy Fawkes before, but has never given serious attention to the actual Gunpowder Plot. There fore I present The First Annual Guy Fawkes Day Special Edition Lol Manuscript! On November 5th, 1605, some Catholic Conspirators totally tried to blow up Parliament. Don't worry, they were caught! Horray for the government, they win again! Effigy burning at my place!

Anyway, this is a big day for Lol Manuscripts, and to commemorate it, here is a 6 part visual journey that explains
exactly what happened:




Some Notes: Fawkes really did tell people his name was "John Johnson." With a code name like that you're pretty much asking to be caught and tortured to death. Also, I misspelled "barrels" in that image, but I'm too lazy to fix it. I'll just call it an early modern spelling and pretend it was intentional.

Also, I think Guy Fawkes day has waned in popularity over the years. I'm brining it back! Burning men made of straw is something that should never go out of fashion. I'm also sort of pissed that many of the individuals who know who Guy Fawkes even was only know because of V for Vendetta.

Hey, here's a poem:

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,

I know of no reason

Why Gunpowder Treason

Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent

To blow up King and Parliament.

Three-score barrels of powder below

To prove old England's overthrow;

By God's providence he was catch'd

With a dark lantern and burning match.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A declaration demonstrating and infallibly proving that all malignants, 1643

Full Title: A declaration demonstrating and infallibly proving that all malignants, whether they be prelates, popish-cavaleers, with all other ill-affected persons, are enemies to God and the King, 1643 (Bastwick, John)

For some reason I think Sir Percy would be considered an "ill-affected person." And anybody who stands like that is most definitely a "popish-cavaleer." Once again, those roundheads really dropped the ball when it came to sexy fashion. My favorite part of this particular ensemble is the cape. Or is it a capelet?

And in case anyone cares to note: I took the line "I thank your lordship, it is very hot." from the most famous Shakespearean fop -- Sir Osric from Hamlet (5.2.99).