Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art
Wright, Thomas Fairholt, Frederick William
Persistente ID:
and Art. 
probably expreffed qualities they did poiTefs, and which were given to 
them by their acquaintances. Thefe names, though often not very 
complimentary, and even fometimes very much the contrary, completely 
fuperfeded the original name, and were even accepted by the individuals 
to whom they applied. The fecond names were indeed fo generally 
acknowledged, that they were ufed in ligning legal documents. An 
Anglo-Saxon abbefs of rank, Whofe real name was Hrodwaru, but who 
was known univerfally by the name Bugga, the Bug, wrote this latter 
name in figning charters. We can hardly doubt that fuch a name was 
intended to afcribe to her qualities of a not agreeable character, and 
very different to thofe implied by the original name, which perhaps 
meant, a dweller in heaven. Another lady gained the name of the 
Crow. It is well known that furnames did not come into ufe till long 
after the Anglo-Saxon period, but appellatives, like thefe nicknames, 
were often added to the name for the purpofe of diitinction, or at 
pleafure, and thefe, too, being given by other people, were frequently 
fatirical. Thus, one Harold, for his fwiftnefs, was called Hare-foot; a 
well-known Edith, for the elegant form of her neck, was called Swan- 
neck; and a Thurcyl, for a form of his head, which can hardly have been 
called beautiful, was named Mare's-head. Among many other names, 
quite as fatirical as the lait-mentioned, we find Flat-nofe, the Ugly, 
Of Anglo-Saxon fculpture we have little left, but we have a few 
illuminated manufcripts which prefent here and there an attempt at 
caricature, though they are rare. It would feem, however, that the two 
favourite fubjects of caricature among the Anglo-Saxons were the clergy 
and the evil one. We have abundant evidence that, from the eighth 
century downwards, neither the Anglo-Saxon clergy nor the Anglo- 
Saxon nuns were generally objects of much refpeft among the people ; 
and their chara6ter and the manner of their lives fufliciently account for 
it. Perhaps, alfo, it was increafed by the hoitility between the old clergy 
and the new reformers of Dun{tan's party, who would no doubt 
caricature each other. A manufcript pfalter, in the Univeriity Library, 
Cambridge (Ff. I, 23), of the Anglo-Saxon period, and apparently of the 


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