LadyBrower

Pen pals...

41 posts in this topic

I debated on where this should go... Is it art? history? hmmm. I put it here, Please move it if I am wrong...

What I would like to do (and I'm not sure if anyone has tried before) but after being inspired by a lady suggesting I write fake letters to people to develope my persona, I thought it might be a good idea for "us" (reenactors/ history lovers/ whatever) to be involved in some sort of period pen pal circle. This way, people reenacting similar periods could research day to day activities, "current" events, establish friendships and build their persona.

What I envision is for each letter to contain really, what letters from people during that time may have said. More so, I see it as an optortunity for ongoing research. I think how it would work, is that the pen palls choice a year to start, and use the current calendar date (October 22, 1709, for example). this way it can match with events and seasons. It's also easier to find out what happened "on this day in history." Letters can be in depth about politics, philosophy, or simple notes of home life, childrearing, recipes... During the reenactment season, letters can be based on mock battles and camp fun.

This site finds stuff, and there are several others: http://www.historyorb.com/date/1709/october

What do you "guys" think? Is anyone interested?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We be but 'umble pyrates, Miss...

Readin' and writin', well those be things for those above us...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only if you write on parchment and with ink and quill ! I honestly think it would just be kind of fun to do , especially during the reenacting season.......... it would also be a good lesson at period handwriting and speach patterns......not too many letters a year though.....must expand on this...yyeess

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like this idea, i'm gonna mention it at my next meeting with me crew to see if any others are interested as well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a great idea... very creative!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only if you write on parchment and with ink and quill ! I honestly think it would just be kind of fun to do , especially during the reenacting season.......... it would also be a good lesson at period handwriting and speach patterns......not too many letters a year though.....must expand on this...yyeess

Hehe, yes. As we go along we can expand on how deep we delve into it (pc paper, hand made quills, calligraphy etc). It could turn into a really fun project and I'm glad others find it to be a good idea. I hope we can get a few people "on board" with this. =)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done some of this. We did use quills on period repro paper and sealed them with wax and our seals. We even went so far as to post them in a period way, passing them from person to person up and down the East Coast. The problem is that something like that does require a fairly decent number of people with more or less frequent contact. We used period language and syntax as much as possible. Our correspondance was between myself, as a 1595 soldier in Carlisle, writing to friends in London and on the Continent.

The experiment lasted about 15 months, until life just got in the way and things petered out. It was interesting while it lasted, and forced us to research not only the day to day facts of the time and place, but also how people from various stations in life would actually express themselves.

Hawkyns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done some of this. We did use quills on period repro paper and sealed them with wax and our seals. We even went so far as to post them in a period way, passing them from person to person up and down the East Coast. The problem is that something like that does require a fairly decent number of people with more or less frequent contact. We used period language and syntax as much as possible. Our correspondance was between myself, as a 1595 soldier in Carlisle, writing to friends in London and on the Continent.

The experiment lasted about 15 months, until life just got in the way and things petered out. It was interesting while it lasted, and forced us to research not only the day to day facts of the time and place, but also how people from various stations in life would actually express themselves.

Hawkyns.

With that in mind, where might i find a good reference for period language - myself and many of our crew are very interesting learning more

Edited by RIPP Tar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm trying to find newspapers, journals, letters etc from the period. I just got Her Own Life which is a book full of autobiographical writings by 17th century women. I've only just flipped through it (I only just got it today).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done some of this. We did use quills on period repro paper and sealed them with wax and our seals. We even went so far as to post them in a period way, passing them from person to person up and down the East Coast. The problem is that something like that does require a fairly decent number of people with more or less frequent contact. We used period language and syntax as much as possible. Our correspondance was between myself, as a 1595 soldier in Carlisle, writing to friends in London and on the Continent.

The experiment lasted about 15 months, until life just got in the way and things petered out. It was interesting while it lasted, and forced us to research not only the day to day facts of the time and place, but also how people from various stations in life would actually express themselves.

Hawkyns.

With that in mind, where might i find a good reference for period language - myself and many of our crew are very interesting learning more

For what period and country? Most of my research in that area is late 16th to mid 17th century. For Early GAoP, I'd start with Pepys' diaries. Also any of the books written in period. Esquemellin or Johnson's 'General History'. Get copies that have not been updated to modern language. Learn to think in the flowery and convoluted language of the time.

Hawkyns

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you that is a start

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm good luck with this as it can be a lot of fun... only tricky part being, who writes to whom and why, especially if you want to develop your personal character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did this very thing over a period of a year back in 1990. A friend of mine was at school in Chicago while I was living in San Jose. I wrote him letters from an elderly man's point of view (a practioner of magic in his advanced years) writing to a younger student of former years. We discussed back and forth the many experiments of magical arts both dark and unusual, sprinkling each letter with news of local events and a larger world war as it affected our parts of the world. Not only did we exchange news and the like, but we sent whole packages of 'materials' for magical use. Letters were often filled with scrawled notes in various handmade inks and sealed with various dark seals and writing. Nigel would even make his own postage stamps and marks that he would affix to letters inside other envelopes. I would go to great lengths to weather the paper and envelopes to appear as though they had traveled over great distances by horse cart and carrier birds.

At one point I mailed him a spider egg sack, which unfortunately hatched while on route to Chicago. Opening the letter to find it filled with baby spiders came as quite a shock to my poor friend.

To this day, one of my roomates of the time still believes that I was mailing these 'so called letters from Nigel' to myself and that Nigel doesn't exist at all. Of course I named one of the many characters in the Watch Dog after Nigel in honor of those bygone days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...where might i find a good reference for period language - myself and many of our crew are very interesting learning more

Having read several actual copies of period surgical manuals in pdf form, allow me to give some pointers.

1. When spelling a word, use any word order that comes to mind which is relatively close to the pronunciation. It is perfectly acceptable to spell a word three different ways in the same paragraph.

2. Randomly replace the letter 'j' with the letter 'i', particularly when it comes at the beginning of a word. So, 'juice' becomes 'iuce' (You can drop the second 'i' because of the spelling rule - see #1. Or you can not. I have also seen it written 'iuice.')

3. Ditto the letter 'w' with two v's: 'vv.'

4. Ditto the letter 's' with a letter that looks mostly like 'f.' In addition to the rule in # 2 about 's' coming at the beginning. You should also change it when there are two s's together in a word. So the first one is written like an 'f' and the second is written like an 's.' Like: 'fucsefs.' (That is not a swear word, it is written that way to keep people on their toes.)

5. If you are tired of writing a word because it's long or you've already written it before, feel free to superscript the last letter that you feel like writing. For example, you can write the word 'attitude' as 'attitu.' (Converting it using rule #1, you can really be PC by writing it as 'atatu.'

6. Sprinkle Latin phrases in occasionally. Misspell and abbreviate them for best effect. (Note: this may just be in the surgical manuals. Common folks probably couldn't write in Latin. Actually, common folks probably couldn't write at all.)

7. In place of 'etc.' always, always use '&c.' (This is mondo cool IMHO.)

8. Randomly italicize words. For example, a few (very few) authors always italicize locations, foreign phrases and things like '&c." Most just italicize these words occasionally. Some don't italicize them at all.

9. Occasionally run the letters o & e together in the Latin fashion to form 'œ' as well as running a & e together to form 'æ.' The 'æ' is more common than the 'œ.' It often appears at the beginning of words that have no reason to have one or the other letters, which looks like 'Æ.' So you might decide to say, "Æ ate eht pices of pi" or "I æte eyt peeces of pye." However, don't overuse this because "Æ æte æyt pæces of pæ" just looks silly.

10. Make some of the words ending with an 'ess' sound positively biblical by adding 'eth' to the end of such words. So, for example, 'suffice' becomes 'sufficieth' or (even better) 'sufeyceth.'

11. Apostrophe's are right out. Never use them. Ever. We're not even going to talk about it. [Edit: Ok, we are going to talk about it, but I'm not going to change it. B) ] Definitely don't fall into the modern trap of sticking an apostrophes in every other word ending in s. (Like 'Phreds Deliciou's Hot Dog's!')

12. If you want to change to the opposite meaning of a word, throw an 'un' at the beginning of it. So, if you wanted to talk about someone not wearing a cloth, you could write 'He was unwaring a cloath.'

13. A hard 'c' is clearly weak, so you must give it support. Add a 'k' to it or even a 'ke' if the 'c' looks like it might be vulnerable. 'Attic' is pretty wimpy, so you would want to write it as 'Atticke.'

14. Ditto words ending in 'e.' Throw an extra 'e' on occasionally in case the the first one gets lost. This is especially true in small words like 'be' (change to 'bee') 'me' (change to 'mee') and 'he' (change to 'hee').

15. In fact, throw some 'e's at the end of other words that don't need them for any reason when the mood strikes you.

16. Mention God a lot.

17. Write in tedious run-on sentences. A sentence going for an entire page with lots of commas, semicolons and colons where there should obviously be periods is excellent 18th c. form.

18. Capitalize some words that seem like they might be important. This doesn't usually include linking words like 'and,' 'the,' 'or' or 'i.' And you don't usually capitalize adverbs, verbs or adjectives. Focus rather on impressive nouns like 'Literature' or 'Herbs' or 'Onomatopoeia.' (Ok, they would never have used the word onomatopoeia as it refers to language rules. I just stuck that in there for the joy of writing the word onomatopoeia. Say it, it's fun!)

19. Speaking of not capitalizing 'i' (sometimes), it is not always necessary to capitalize people's names or places. Some writers always do, others never do and others are rather hit and miss. So go with your first inclination on that one.

20. Feel free to stick nearly-rhyming poems into the middle of your text. They should start out rhyming pretty well, but as they go along and you start getting tired of trying to think of words that rhyme, just try to come close. For example, in the sixth or seventh stanza feel free to include rhyming verses that end in 'most' and 'clothes' or 'golf' and 'Ralph' and so forth. (This particular guideline is still actively used in the song-writing industry even to this day.)

Here's a sample of such from Woodall's book The surgions mate which I basically randomly chose out of my 700 pages of notes for you. Unfortunately, I have already changed the i's back to j's, the f's back to s's and the vv's back to w's so you can't see that here. (Use your imagination to randomly change such things when you're reading this.)

For Natura naturans naturat omnia, and marke it, for by this reason an old wife oftentimes exceedeth a great Artist in healing for she wrestleth not with Nature as great masters doe, and Nature is pleased with her milde and simple means is appeased, and by divine providence the disease often easily made whole: for I know it for a truth, and by too much experience my owne, as an eye witnesse in other mens worke I have seen as great harme done, and as

__

grosse faults committed by unworthy Surgeons for want of mature judgement in over-doing, as by olde wives, or fooles in under-doing. For many Surgeons never thinke they have plaied the workmen till indeed they have made worke: Some by error for want of judgement, others for base lucres sake, prolonging and aggravating with things not only contrary, but also dangerous to nature oftentimes, laying bare the bones, and by caustickes following them with their medicines when there is no neede, presaging wickedly before hand upon unperfect grounds, bones to be fowle, when to their shame they have made them so themselves, as is said, either for want of honestie, or want of true judgement to consider: wanting charitable and Christian reasons, or not being capable what the benefit and force of Nature is able to effect, whereas if they would proceed mildly, and with sleight Medicines they might oftentimes effect farre more then they do, or can. Nam natura panics contenta, & sublatâ causâ tollitur effectus: Nature is content with small things, and the cause removed the accidents or effects cease. I with rather a Surgeon should gently, yea though hee should hazard the breaking out againe of the griefe, which will not easily be if he rationally follow the precedent methode, rather then by keeping the griefe open too long give occasion of deformitie, lamenesse, losse of limes, fistulaes or the like, which very many in the height of their great conceited skill procure, which were it but onely the guilt of conscience, if they feared God, they should not dare to doe. These and the like grosse errors, unexcusable before God and man, have brought to the Arte a scandal, & a sensible feeling of want upon many virtuous professours hereof, so that the guilty and unguiltie are censured both alikeby the common sort, and the one smarteth for the others fault. But those which for gaine or otherwise will prolong the health of those that commit their lives, or limes to their mercy, or approve of it, the Lord pay them

__

tenfold, as much to their shame: and so for this time I conclude concerning Apostumes, onely let mee give thee this caveat concerning Precipitate mercurie, or of any kinde of Turbith mineral, use them not much neere any bare bones without very great judgement, for they will blacke the bones, neither use any of them in any new wounds as is said, for if you doe they are very apt to procure lamenesse, or shrinking of the sinewes. All swift healing in new wounds I esteeme best, yea without any causticke medicines at all if it may bee, which the Artist neede not doubt of where neither bones broken, nor other just think of like kinde hindereth the worke. Thus much concerning the general curing of tumours, to the praise of God.” (Woodall, p. 154-6)

Of course, that's just some of them. If I think of any more, I'll post them for you. Have fun trying to write like that. B) (It's bad enough trying to read it.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11. Apostrophe's are right out. Never use them. Ever. We're not even going to talk about it.

Deliberate mistake? B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'

11. Apostrophe's are right out. Never use them. Ever. We're not even going to talk about it.

Never???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed serious a lack of apostrophes in all of the docs I'm reading. Look at Woodall's title fer Chrissakes!

“Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. By Order of the Author” -Mark Twain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lack there of perhaps, but never?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, it's much funnier the way it is. I have to keep it that way. (This way goes the essence of stereotypical comedic writing. Alas.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...where might i find a good reference for period language - myself and many of our crew are very interesting learning more

Having read several actual copies of period surgical manuals in pdf form, allow me to give some pointers.

1. When spelling a word, use any word order that comes to mind which is relatively close to the pronunciation. It is perfectly acceptable to spell a word three different ways in the same paragraph.

2. Randomly replace the letter 'j' with the letter 'i', particularly when it comes at the beginning of a word. So, 'juice' becomes 'iuce' (You can drop the second 'i' because of the spelling rule - see #1. Or you can not. I have also seen it written 'iuice.')

3. Ditto the letter 'w' with two v's: 'vv.'

4. Ditto the letter 's' with a letter that looks mostly like 'f.' In addition to the rule in # 2 about 's' coming at the beginning. You should also change it when there are two s's together in a word. So the first one is written like an 'f' and the second is written like an 's.' Like: 'fucsefs.' (That is not a swear word, it is written that way to keep people on their toes.)

5. If you are tired of writing a word because it's long or you've already written it before, feel free to superscript the last letter that you feel like writing. For example, you can write the word 'attitude' as 'attitu.' (Converting it using rule #1, you can really be PC by writing it as 'atatu.'

6. Sprinkle Latin phrases in occasionally. Misspell and abbreviate them for best effect. (Note: this may just be in the surgical manuals. Common folks probably couldn't write in Latin. Actually, common folks probably couldn't write at all.)

7. In place of 'etc.' always, always use '&c.' (This is mondo cool IMHO.)

8. Randomly italicize words. For example, a few (very few) authors always italicize locations, foreign phrases and things like '&c." Most just italicize these words occasionally. Some don't italicize them at all.

9. Occasionally run the letters o & e together in the Latin fashion to form 'œ' as well as running a & e together to form 'æ.' The 'æ' is more common than the 'œ.' It often appears at the beginning of words that have no reason to have one or the other letters, which looks like 'Æ.' So you might decide to say, "Æ ate eht pices of pi" or "I æte eyt peeces of pye." However, don't overuse this because "Æ æte æyt pæces of pæ" just looks silly.

10. Make some of the words ending with an 'ess' sound positively biblical by adding 'eth' to the end of such words. So, for example, 'suffice' becomes 'sufficieth' or (even better) 'sufeyceth.'

11. Apostrophe's are right out. Never use them. Ever. We're not even going to talk about it. [Edit: Ok, we are going to talk about it, but I'm not going to change it. B) ]

12. If you want to change to the opposite meaning of a word, throw an 'un' at the beginning of it. So, if you wanted to talk about someone not wearing a cloth, you could write 'He was unwaring a cloath.'

13. A hard 'c' is clearly weak, so you must give it support. Add a 'k' to it or even a 'ke' if the 'c' looks like it might be vulnerable. 'Attic' is pretty wimpy, so you would want to write it as 'Atticke.'

14. Ditto words ending in 'e.' Throw an extra 'e' on occasionally in case the the first one gets lost. This is especially true in small words like 'be' (change to 'bee') and 'he' (change to 'hee').

15. In fact, throw some 'e's at the end of other words that don't need them for any reason when the mood strikes you.

16. Mention God a lot.

17. Write in tedious run-on sentences. A sentence going for an entire page with lots of commas, semicolons and colons where there should obviously be periods is excellent 18th c. form.

Here's a sample of such from Woodall's book The surgions mate which I basically randomly chose out of my 700 pages of notes for you. Unfortunately, I have already changed the i's back to j's, the f's back to s's and the vv's back to w's so you can't see that here. (Use your imagination to randomly change such things when you're reading this.)

For Natura naturans naturat omnia, and marke it, for by this reason an old wife oftentimes exceedeth a great Artist in healing for she wrestleth not with Nature as great masters doe, and Nature is pleased with her milde and simple means is appeased, and by divine providence the disease often easily made whole: for I know it for a truth, and by too much experience my owne, as an eye witnesse in other mens worke I have seen as great harme done, and as

__

grosse faults committed by unworthy Surgeons for want of mature judgement in over-doing, as by olde wives, or fooles in under-doing. For many Surgeons never thinke they have plaied the workmen till indeed they have made worke: Some by error for want of judgement, others for base lucres sake, prolonging and aggravating with things not only contrary, but also dangerous to nature oftentimes, laying bare the bones, and by caustickes following them with their medicines when there is no neede, presaging wickedly before hand upon unperfect grounds, bones to be fowle, when to their shame they have made them so themselves, as is said, either for want of honestie, or want of true judgement to consider: wanting charitable and Christian reasons, or not being capable what the benefit and force of Nature is able to effect, whereas if they would proceed mildly, and with sleight Medicines they might oftentimes effect farre more then they do, or can. Nam natura panics contenta, & sublatâ causâ tollitur effectus: Nature is content with small things, and the cause removed the accidents or effects cease. I with rather a Surgeon should gently, yea though hee should hazard the breaking out againe of the griefe, which will not easily be if he rationally follow the precedent methode, rather then by keeping the griefe open too long give occasion of deformitie, lamenesse, losse of limes, fistulaes or the like, which very many in the height of their great conceited skill procure, which were it but onely the guilt of conscience, if they feared God, they should not dare to doe. These and the like grosse errors, unexcusable before God and man, have brought to the Arte a scandal, & a sensible feeling of want upon many virtuous professours hereof, so that the guilty and unguiltie are censured both alikeby the common sort, and the one smarteth for the others fault. But those which for gaine or otherwise will prolong the health of those that commit their lives, or limes to their mercy, or approve of it, the Lord pay them

__

tenfold, as much to their shame: and so for this time I conclude concerning Apostumes, onely let mee give thee this caveat concerning Precipitate mercurie, or of any kinde of Turbith mineral, use them not much neere any bare bones without very great judgement, for they will blacke the bones, neither use any of them in any new wounds as is said, for if you doe they are very apt to procure lamenesse, or shrinking of the sinewes. All swift healing in new wounds I esteeme best, yea without any causticke medicines at all if it may bee, which the Artist neede not doubt of where neither bones broken, nor other just think of like kinde hindereth the worke. Thus much concerning the general curing of tumours, to the praise of God." (Woodall, p. 154-6)

Of course, that's just some of them. If I think of any more, I'll post them for you. Have fun trying to write like that. B) (It's bad enough trying to read it.)

Thate vvas freecking hilarioufe , i think that thif wille bee phunni ffrom iufte a wrighting standponte, god vvilling ; a fhanks too Missn on so great a compedeeum of rulles , godds will be don....... (yeeaah we totaly need to do this lady brower!)

Edited by Cross

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thate vvas freecking hilarioufe , i think that thif wille bee phunni ffrom jufte a wrighting standponte, god vvilling ; a fhanks too Missn on so great a compedeeum of rulles , godds will be don....... (yeeaah we totaly need to do this lady brower!)

That sentence was as similar to one I had to translate from an actual family record a few years back as could be had. My mom had me stop by and help her figure it out. It was from a diary entry of an indentured servant loyal to Richard Pace, praising him for his many kindnesses and his fairness to those people under his protection. It was rife with all sorts of interesting grammar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whilst one occupies one's Mind in such good and Godly Pursuits,

and few Pursuits there be as noble as the Scribes', One is bettered

in One's Pursuit to recall Ligatures and their Rules. For in language,

as in all Things, He that is the Author of all that is Good has established

Order, and Order having thusly been established by His Word comes forth

in such Manner as befits by Nature and Logic having Rules. So much more

so the better for your written Language even more so than your Speech to show

Knowledge of these Rules and through Display of such Manners let shine forth

that Light of Creation He has established within You.

To wit: Rules on Ligatures (and also a link to the Wyld font & ligature macro).

Your Most Humble Servant,

Quartermaster James Hunt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

13. A hard 'c' is clearly weak, so you must give it support. Add a 'k' to it or even a 'ke' if the 'c' looks like it might be vulnerable. 'Attic' is pretty wimpy, so you would want to write it as 'Atticke.'

Atticke!

Atticke!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow... =P Lovely.

So any suggestions on matching people? I think both matching on the basis of common interest (housewife to housewife, Man to Man, same age. Whatever) and in different views of life (wife to sailor, priest to prostitute =P) could potentially interesting.

Or we could all have several acquaintances?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now