Monday, May 26, 2008
An exact description of Prince Ruperts Malignant She-Monkey, 1643
I've been researching for this one for a while, because Prince Rupert of the Rhine is maybe my favorite Cavalier ever. Nephew of Charles I, Rupert fought as a general in the English Civil War, and after his banishment was a buccaneer pirate in the Caribbean. During the war, Parliamentarian propagandists published numerous pamphlets about him . He was called "Prince Robber" and "the Mad Cavalier" because of his bravery and cruelty in battle. He was also famous for his Satanic familiars, the most famous being a white poodle named "Boy" (last year, Cassidy did a genius lolmanuscript from a publication about Boy's death at the Battle of Marston Moor, check it out here.)
His other familiar was a "malignant she-monkey," who had magical powers and was able to transform into any shape to spy on the enemy. The Roundheads really loved discussing Rupert's "effeminacy" and sexual deviancy as well, and this pamphlet makes not so subtle hints about Rupert's special "relationship" with his monkey, who gets ridiculously sexualized as a type of courtesan who "tempts the prince by her lascivious gestures." To their credit though, he apparently did dress it up in little skirts and coats and made it ride on Boy's back. I'm still not sure why she's committing hara-kiri in the picture because the original pamphlet is pretty difficult to to read. I guess anthropomorphized monkeys can commit ritualistic suicide to end the pain of living without their master, but in real life she probably just would have throw her own feces at people. The moral of this story: we all need to line up some Satanic familiars asap.
For further reading, check out this awesome looking book, published in 2007: Prince Rupert: The Last Cavalier by Charles Spencer Century.