THE POEMS OF SHAKESPEARE’S DARK LADY Book Review By Andre Austin (note words misspelled because it English of 500 years ago) In 1978 A.L. Rowse published the above title claiming Emilia Bassano-Lanier was the “Dark Lady” Shakespeare wrote in his sonnets from 127-152. Emilia was the first published poet of England in 1611. Her long exhaustive poem Sal’ve deus Rex Judaeorum simply means Hail God, King of the Jews, Rowse theorized was written in part as a response to defamatory portrait of her in the sonnets. If I had known Shakepeare was lusting for a little Jewish her having been mixed with black blood I would have joined the drama club because I thought they were gay. Or had I known that “black is beautiful” was taken to the 1960’s civil right cultural movement came from Shakespeare too would have altered my opinion also. Short unique Biography that links Emilia to Shakespeare plays: 1. No women name appears more in variation in the Shakespeare plays. 2. 1592 gets pregnant by Henry VIII son and names her son Henry. Forced to marry Alphonso Lanier (French/Italian) by her father Baptista Biassano. All three names appear in the comedy of relationships called Taming of a Shrew or better taming of a Jew that was bed hopping from the royal beds. She plays the role of kate/Kite which is another word for the Falcon –Lanier family or a pun for Jew. 3. Moorish ancestry 4. A major poet using the same rare words, cluster words and invented words of Shakespeare. She knew Hebrew and Italian from which Shakespeare using puns on. 5. 300% use of more music in Shakespeare plays. All of Emilia relatives are musicians. 6. She was a known feminist which Shakepeare has a slant to and cites feminist books. 7. Knowledge of the Tudor court 8. Lived 10 years with the man in charge of the English theater, who was a patron of the acting company which performed the plays. 9. Songs in the plays about a King of Africa who falls in love with a maid. 10. The real story of Titus Andronius is about Titus invading Judea with Titus greeting a black baby and killing a pig. Further more we have the real Titus brother being a killer of flies which is in the play Titus Andronius. In her letter to Margaret, Countesse of Cumberland in part states: I may say with Saint Peter, silver nor gold have I none, but such as I have, that give I you… As Saint Peter gave health to the body, so I deliver you the health of the soule…this rich diamond of devotion… Neither can it receive any blemish thereby: for as a right diamond can loose no whit of his beautie by the blacke soyle underneath it, neither by being placed in the darke, but retaines his natural beauty and brithtness”. Was she equated herself with the complexion of St. Peter the cyrenian (Black from Libya). It seems so and strikes a remblence to the Dark lady in the sonnets. Was Emilia admitting she was white on outside but had black Morrish ancestry in her blood? Sonnets 127 In old age black was not counted fair Or if it were, it bore not beauty’s name; But now is black beauty’s successive heir And beauty slanderd with a bastard shame Do this line up with Emilia getting pregnant by Henry VIII son then being forced to marry Alfonso Lanier? Sonnet 147 “For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee Bright, Who art as black as hell, as dark as night” Sonnet 151 “My soul doth tell my body that he may Triumph in love; flesh stays no farther reason” Sonnet 152 In loving thee thou know’st I am forsworn (to his wife) But thou art twice forsworn to me love swearing In act thy bed-vow broke and new faith torn In vowing new hate after new love bearing Was this a reference to Emilia getting pregnant to Henry’s son, marrying a Lanier and promising her love to Shakespeare. Shakespeare seems to be saying your dealing with more of the opposite sex than me. This would have been ample reason why she wrote Sal’ve deus Rex judaeorum from which she says was to all virtuous ladies in general. In the letter to all vertous ladies in general she states: “Each blessed lady that in virtue spends Your pretious time to beautifie your souls… Those high deserts that Majestie commends: Let this fair Queen not unattended bee, When in my glasse she daines her selfe to see.” (A couple lines down she mentions Solomon. She was talking about Queen of Sheba because in another passage she states similar lines. I wonder if Emilia had read the Koran because it gives a reference to glass with the Queen of Sheba. Lets take a look) Koran 27:44 “Sheba was asked to enter the lofty palace: but when she saw it, she thought it was a lake of water, and she tucked up her shirts, uncovering her legs. Solomon said this is but a palace paved smooth with slabs of glass” she said I have indeed wronged my soul I do now submit (in Judaism). Now Back to Sal’ve deus Rex Judaeorum “That Ethyopian Queene did gaine great fame Who from the Southern world, did come to see Great Solomon; the glory of whose name Had spread it selfe ore all the earth, to be… Here majestie with Majestie did meete Wisdom to wisdom yielded true content, One beauty did another beauty greet. Emilia did the femist thing of putting Solomon and Sheba together as equals. Her book is a defence of women and a defence of herself. She also said that all women deserve not to be blamed though some forgetting they are women themselves. The evill dispsed men, who forgetting they were borne of women, nourished of women and without them would be quite extinguished out of the world. Sonnet 139 Her pretty looks have been mine enemies… Yet do not so; but since Iam near slain Kill me outright with looks and rid my pain (This wasn’t very nice and if looks could kill Emelia would do the deed) Sonnet 141 Only my plague thus far I count my gain That she that makes me sin awards me pain (was shakepeare saying the Dark Lady gave him a veneral disease? A.l Rowse thinks so. 1592-93 the theatres were largely closed because of the plague. Shakespeare had this time and leisure to write these sonnets.) Sonnet 144 The worser spirit a woman colour’d ill To win me soon to hell, my female evil ( In Emilia poem she makes Adam guility not Eve.” Surely Adam can not be excused, her fault though great, yet hee was most to blame”-EL) All I can say is that this women was something else in which time gives her credit for writing some of the plays of Shakspeare. Clearly shakepeare publishing the Sonnets and lampooning Emilia in 1609. Success is revenge with Emilia becoming the first women to publish a book of poetry in England. “The Jewish wolves, that did our savior bite For now they use all meanes they can devise To beate down truth, and goe against all right” (Was this saying the Jews didn’t kill Jesus) THE ENDING Emilia ends her book from which I take as a clue: TO THE DOUBTFULL READER Gentle reader, if thou desire to be resolved, why I give this title, Salve Rex Judaorum, know for certaine that it was delived unto me in sleepe” “Hail God, king of the Jews” (Salve Rex Judaorum) Then I was reading Joseph Atwill book “Caesar’s Messiah p.290 and read a quote that gave me an idea “ Then they began to march up to him (Jesus), saying in a mocking voice, Hail King of the Jews” (John 19). Can we have here a long poem written because she was being mocked in particular but also for women in general.