17th Century Anagrams

I’ve been reading about Dame Eleanor Davies and her time in Bedlam. She was committed to the asylum on December 17th 1636.

She had been tried in 1633 for treason against King Charles 1. The charge levelled because of her self-proclaimed status as prophetess and, more damaging, her prophecies about the deaths of Buckingham and Charles.

Dame Eleanor played a popular 17th century game of anagrams but her’s was more dangerous. When she realised that John Davies (the name of her husband) was an anagram of JOVE’S HAND, she put on widow’s weeds and publicly declared that her husband would be dead within a year.

John’s response was – ‘I pray you weep not while I’m alive, and I will give you leave to laugh when I am dead.’

Eleanor laughed before the year was out.

At her trial, a chaplain played the Dame at her own game by demonstrating that Eleanor’s name made the anagram ‘NEVER SO MAD A LADIE’

This all got me thinking about my own characters names and anagrams and I tested a few.

My main character is called Marie de Rohan – DRAMA HEROINE

Louis de Bourbon – DUBIOUS NOBLE OR

Cardinal Richelieu – A CLINICAL RUED HEIR

Gaston d’Orléans – A GRANDNESS FOOL

Walter Montagu – NATURAL GEM – WOT.

I’ve decided to rename my novel. It’s now A SAVAGED MANY FLOWER VOW by QUEEN JIGGLY ARC.

Keep your eye out for it!

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