Archive for September, 2012

Work in progress…

Posted in Literature with tags , , on September 26, 2012 by alexlarman

In case anyone’s wondering why I haven’t updated my blog in ages, this man is the reason:


I’m currently writing a long-threatened book about John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, for Head of Zeus. Provisionally titled Rochester: Sex, Power and Poetry at the Court of Charles II, it won’t be finished or published for a little while yet, but it’s taking up much of my time and energies at the moment. So expect blogging to be a bit lighter than it has been for the past few months. The trade-off is that you can expect the inside story on the book as and when it happens…in the meantime, here is one of my favourite Rochester stories.

‘It is of Isaac Barrow (a famous theologian of the age) that the familiar story is told of a playful match at mock courtesy with the Earl of Rochester, who meeting Dr. Barrow near the king’s chamber bowed low, saying, “I am yours, doctor, to the knee strings.”  Barrow (bowing lower), “I am yours, my lord, to the shoe-tie.”  Rochester: “Yours, doctor, down to the ground.”  Barrow: “Yours, my lord, to the centre of the earth.”  Rochester (not to be out-done): “Yours, doctor, to the lowest pit of hell.”  Barrow: “There, my lord, I must leave you.”