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.

5 comments:

Doug said...

In all fairness, Rupert would make the malignant she-monkey change shape before having sex with it. Oddly enough, most historical accounts say that Rupert's preferred shape for the monkey was John Wilmot. 70's Wilmot, to be precise.

Sarah Redmond said...

Rupert probably would have been in love with 70s Wilmot. And I think that in this picture, Wilmot is actually posing with the malignant she-monkey. Awesome!

Oh, and have you ever seen the show "Blackadder," because it has a pretty awesome English Civil War episode that I just found and sort of love.

Maggie said...

I am doing a school project on Prince Rupert (we finally get to choose topics that interest us, with vague enough guidelines I can do it on "historical figure I find awesome"), and stumbled upon your blog. I have spent the last few hours on it, and am thoroughly impressed. This is hilarious and I would go so far as to say genius. :)
On that, would you by any chance know how to get pictures of these pamphlets without your wonderful lolz? For project purposes? If not is no problem, I am just curious and internet frustrated (though grateful I found this blog) :)

Sarah Redmond said...

Maggie -- If your university subscribes to Early English Books
Online (EEBO ProQuest), you can search for the title there. Early English Broadside Ballads (EBBA) is free online but contains broadsides only.

If you only need the Prince Rupert stuff, you could just download these images and erase the words in MS Paint.

Maggie said...

I will take a look. Thank You :)