Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Food Chain


In 1928, a biography of Queen Elizabeth I was published, written by the famous biographer Lytton Strachey.



...who in 1943 was himself the subject of a biography by Max Beerbohm.



...who in 1964 was himself the subject of a biography by David Cecil.



...who in 1990 was himself the subject of a biography by Hannah Cranbourne.




Wouldn't it be nice if Hannah Cranbourne's biography includes a bit where David gets stuck on the bit of his biography of Max in which he gets stuck on the bit of his biography of Lytton in which he gets stuck on his biography of Elizabeth?




Bonus connection: Elizabeth I's childhood home was Hatfield Palace. Her successor James I gave it to Robert Cecil, Elizabeth's chief minister (and an important figure in Strachey's book). His descendants have lived in the remodelled Hatfield House ever since. The current inhabitants are the seventh Marquess of Salisbury and his wife, Lady Salisbury. In 1990, Lady Salisbury was known as... Hannah Cranbourne.



25 comments:

Kaitebon said...

You could write a biography of Hannah Cranbourne and made sure the moment of meta is not forgotten!

Kaitebon said...

(And then you could write an autobiography, to tie things up nicely.)

John Finnemore said...

...Or Elizabeth I could write a biography of me?

Kaitebon said...

You don't know the Doctor, do you?

Kaitebon said...

(Above comment makes me sound like I'm selling drugs...)

Tal said...

It's like the first manifestation of the chain letter!
And since it was started with Elizabeth I, breaking the chain would probably mean less of bad luck and more of an axe to the neck.

Fiona Pickles said...

M.C. Escher, a national trescher
Retires from art to write 'Cabin Prescher'


What can I tell you, it's the way my mind works...

The writing Frog said...

I'm quite sure that each one wrote a biography of anyone just in order to be later the subject of a biography written by another one ; and now John F. is talking to us about it, whose turn is it to write a biography of him ?
There would be so many interesting / funny / original things to say !

haze said...

Go on then, Sir, I'll write yours if you write mine.

Or would that just break the chain? Would it create a rip in the space-time continuum from which we can never return?! Or would it all be fine? Worth a try.

Ellen Mayer said...

Would that be...biography-ception-ception?

I'm afraid we do need the Doctor's services. Quite badly.

---8---
|[]|[]|
| | | 0
| | | /|\ <- the Doctor
| | | / \
-----------------------
(Arthur Chappey for the 12th Doctor!)

Ellen Mayer said...

And my text Tardis failed to materialize.

I guess today I'm just a bit of a clot... :(

Stu said...

Or you could just write series 4 of Cabin Pressure and put us out of our misery?

And Arthur's.

He needs to see a vet, you know ...

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth II could write your biography ;-) Then there would be another sequence of people writing biographies of each other, with Elizabeth III at some point, etc. Wouldn't that make it nicely 3D?

Sparrow said...

John Finnemore said...

...Or Elizabeth I could write a biography of me?

But what she really needs to do is take a big sword and tap you on the shoulders and Knight you for all your hard work making people all over the world forget their troubles for 30 minutes at a time!

David Tyler said...

I think you have too much time on your hands! :-)

(When you should be writing more Cabin Pressure!!!!)

haze said...

Jumping on the bandwagon. Never mind the autobiography, write more Cabin Pressure!!

Simon said...

very Round Britain Quiz ;-)

Maggie said...

It's probably shaming, but I never knew they have blue Penguin Books! I wonder how many people bought them expecting something forbidden (a la blue films) and got a biography of Elizabeth I instead?

Jane Russ said...

Noticing the title of Strachey's original, does this mean that Elizabeth 1 was just an Essex Girl at heart?

Anonymous said...

Oh, for official Cabin Pressure/Doctor Who fiction! Wouldn't the world just explode from such awesomeness. :)

(By the way, Mr Finnemore, I've tried to tweet you but I'm a bit new to Twitter so I don't know if it's worked or not. Do you know how long the recordings of your Souvenir Programme will be? I have tickets to the 7th July one, 2 days before my birthday! Yay! :) )

Wallflower Lily said...

What!?!? How do you even know all that stuff? Are you a biography expert? Also, does this mean writing a biography of Hannah Cranbourne would basically guarantee that in the future someone will a biography of you. Interesting, very interesting.

MirandanotHart said...

What does her majesty's descendent Queen Elizabeth II have to say about her ancestor,the start of this miserable literary chain? (another biography title in the works...)

Ellen Mayer said...

...Now I think I must go and hide and write the crossover fiction...CabinLock is always fun, but this would be BRILLIANT!

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