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A Pack Of Knaves

March 3, 2024
by the gentle author

A Sunday in Lent is a good time to contemplate human failing, as vividly illustrated by this Pack of Knaves engraved by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-77). Do these characters remind you of anyone you know? If you recognise yourself here, reader beware. It not yet too late to repent and amend your ways.

Images courtesy University of Toronto

You may like to read these stories about Wenceslaus Hollar

Wenceslaus Hollar at Old St Paul’s

Wenceslaus Hollar’s Plague Letters

2 Responses leave one →
  1. March 3, 2024

    Fascinating – and some new words to boot. Old English is hard going but I think I have the gist of most of them.

  2. March 3, 2024

    Oh, such well-dressed knaves! I feasted on every roguish costume detail. Those voluminous hats with soft brims and lavish plumes. All the better to sweep the floor in a deep blow, for m’lady.
    The flattering tailored coats, replete with intricate braid and deep lace collars. The narrow pegged pants, with ribboned cockades, seemingly to draw the eye to the buckled shoes or lavish boots. Goodness, WHERE to look? — upwards to the sly faces with trimmed beards, or downward to all those elaborate details? And (I trust) those swords were merely for posing and preening?
    The phrase, “Baby, I’m a lover, not a fighter” comes easily to mind.

    A rogue’s gallery in the best possible sense, methinks!
    Thank you, GA.

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