Tag Archives: 17th Century

1675: Libertine with Monkey

Jacob Huysmans: Portrait of John Wilmont, 2nd Earl of Rochester (1647-1680) Were I (who to my cost already am One of those strange, prodigious creatures, man) A spirit free to choose, for my own share What case of flesh and … Continue reading

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1635: A Kind of Speech They Could Not Understand

In 1635 at Brampton near Gainsborough an Ash Tree shook both in the Body and Boughs, and there proceeded from thence Sighs and Groans, like those of a Man troubled in his Sleep, as if he felt some sensible Torments. … Continue reading

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17th Century: The Dog-Headed Saint

In Eastern Christian Orthodox iconography, Saint Christopher sometimes appears with the head of a dog. As a consummate outsider who would become the patron saint of travellers, Christopher came to be associated with tales of far-flung peoples who blurred the … Continue reading

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1666: Too Stars Fighting

In the same moneth [September, 1666] was seen a strange prodigy near us, Grace Butler my near neighbour that saw it told me of it, togather with several of James Brookesbankes family, it was too stars fighting, they struck violently … Continue reading

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17th Century: Satan

Zämänfäs Qeddus: How Satan came (again) looking like four women and St. Michael trod on him; a page from the late 17th century Gondar Homiliary. This Homiliary was created in Gondar, Ethiopia, during a period of artistic flowering in the … Continue reading

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1846: The System According to the Holy Scriptures

The Muggletonians were a radical Protestant sect that originated in the seventeenth century when London tailors John Reeve and Lodowick Muggleton announced themselves as the prophets foretold in the Book of Revelation. Along with Diggers, Ranters, and Levellers, Muggletonians comprised … Continue reading

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1655: Headless Horsemen

In the turmoil of the English Civil War (1642-1651), an engraving based on this portrait of King Charles I underwent a remarkable number of transformations. The original portrait was painted by Anthony van Dyck in 1633 (above). The French engraver … Continue reading

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1680: Indiscreet

In [Renaissance] France homosexuality was long deemed a caprice reserved to the nobility, the intellectual and artistic elite, and the princes of the Church. To be sure, other classes are known to have been involved, but their activity tended to … Continue reading

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1671: The Latest and Most Accurate

John Ogilby: America- Being the Latest, and Most Accurate Description of the New World (1671); the book is an English translation of Arnold Montanus’s De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld. The title of this plate is “Viztlipuztli idolum Mexicanorum” —The Mexicans’ … Continue reading

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1989: The Great Fire of London

In this dream I was coming up out of the London tube. I was in a rush, under a gray rain. I was preparing myself for a new life, for a joyful freedom. And I had to fathom the dream’s … Continue reading

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