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Old 02-10-2019, 05:37 PM
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King James I, sponsor of the most perfect Bible translation, the KJV, was bisexual?


British documentaries have long seemed to place a premium on on the physical attractiveness of their female presenters. I first noticed this a couple decades ago when a local college station broadcast a series to teach Greek. The hosts were a Greek leading lady and a schlub of a BBC reporter who couldn't keep his eyes off her, lost in the blackness of her eyes and the china-like perfection of her bosom. When I managed to draw my eyes from her perfection I noticed he probably hadn't learned a word of Greek, either, and didn't care. But I chalked my reaction to a "youthful indiscretion" (Like my congressman Henry Hyde I was forty-one, a mere child).

Time went on and I discovered YouTube and its many British documentaries that were perfect to help me sleep. Battlefield's sonorous music put me right out--I still don't know who won at Kursk. Michael Wood's endless lists of Dark Age kings was like counting sheep all named "Stan." Baldric's nasally honks were not enough to make three-day archaeological digs which found nothing but Northumbrian mud interesting enough to keep me awake.

But there were others on the list that caught my eye, first and foremost being shows presented by Dr Suzannah Lipscomb, whose screencaps always feature her angelic, blonde ringlets and a red dress she seems to have been poured into. Pure hubby service, ensuring that men and women both can enjoy "Hidden Killers of the Edwardian Home," and I know I'm being played, but I stay played because she knows her stuff. Housewifery has never been safe and those shows are full of EEEK! moments.

The other day, having not been able to sleep all night, I turned to someone I hadn't tried before, Lucy Worsley, OBE and her "Fit to Rule" miniseries. I came to it completely uninterested in the British royal dynasties and Ms Worsley, while elfin cute, is not the sort of manufactured knockout Lipscomb is. I thought I'd be able to sleep.

Nope. Turns out she has a filthy mind, which I find endlessly attractive, and is ready to dish on any Stuart or Hanover who comes her way. Especially as she's a curator of their homes. From her I learned that James I/VI (depends on from which side of The Wall you hail), besides making a solid effort to be the Father of His Country, had an ongoing thing with the Duke of Buckingham. Remember that this is the sponsor of the book that proves to American fundamentalists that Jesus spoke English with a Scottish accent and gives them all the reasons to hate the gays. A fascinating story, and one it was hard to sleep through, but one that asks, "Does the Religious Right know about their boy, Jamey?" Discuss.

Meanwhile, Wikipedia sez, "She contributed to five episodes ofThe Secret Life Of: for theYesterday Channel.The series was designed to give 'tabloid treatment of historical icons'and includes an episode where Lipscomb and co-host Lucy Worsley' revel in these raunchy titbits' about Henry VIII's love life." Oooh! Raunchy Tudors and if it's about tits I'm sure Henry is first in line. OTOH, I need something boring to help me sleep tonight. Quantum physics, for instance.

Last edited by dropzone; 02-10-2019 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:57 PM
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FWIW, an episode of this past season of Doctor Who ("The Witchfinders"), the Doctor and her companions were in 17th Century England, and encountered King James, who was investigating rumors of witches in the area. In the episode, he was played, rather flamboyantly, by Alan Cumming.

The Wikipedia entry on James indicates that there's a lot of speculation (and dispute) over his sexuality.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:02 PM
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Oh come on, who doesn't know that? Puh-leaze! They were calling James I bi when I was high school forty years ago.

Last edited by Two Many Cats; 02-10-2019 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:25 PM
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I assume you're being facetious when you call the KJV the "most perfect" translation.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:35 PM
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If I can be facetious while telling some people's version of the truth, guess which way I go?

https://www.growingchristians.org/qu...t-translation/

http://www.webtruth.org/bible-versio...rsion-perfect/
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:39 PM
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Oh come on, who doesn't know that? Puh-leaze! They were calling James I bi when I was high school forty years ago.
I didn't, but I'm old and American and we preferred to not talk about England.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:52 PM
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I just wanted to say that, while I've found some of dropzone's OPs to be, at best, opaque in the past, this one was excellent. I really enjoyed reading it.

And thank you for introducing me to Dr Suzannah Lipscomb, whose documentaries I will now begin seeking out.

Last edited by Defensive Indifference; 02-10-2019 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:27 PM
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Am I the only one who is sick of all the activists decreeing that <name of distant historical figure> was gay/bi/non-gender-binary/whatever? I don't see how it helps their cause and, anyway, it's been way overused.

Yes, I am sure that throughout history historical figures have occasionally buggered some boy or actually been gay. But I really don't care if they did and I really don't care for the random unsubstantiated decrees.

Last edited by Alley Dweller; 02-10-2019 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:37 PM
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I just wanted to say that, while I've found some of dropzone's OPs to be, at best, opaque in the past, this one was excellent. I really enjoyed reading it.
I know I have a reputation so I made an effort. Took me hours to clarify it. I also wrote it offline so this bloody Android in-between and unreliable internet connection couldn't screw me or make me rush.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:40 PM
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I know I have a reputation so I made an effort. Took me hours to clarify it. I also wrote it offline so this bloody Android in-between and unreliable internet connection couldn't screw me or make me rush.
The effort paid off!
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:43 PM
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Am I the only one who is sick of all the activists decreeing that <name of distant historical figure> was gay/bi/non-gender-binary/whatever? I don't see how it helps their cause and, anyway, it's been way overused.
I am a straight cis-male and am no activist. My point was that his probable orientation, known by many of his countrymen then and today, is unknown by those who take "his" translation as the be-all-and-end-all and use it to persecute gays.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:08 PM
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I am a straight cis-male and am no activist. My point was that his probable orientation, known by many of his countrymen then and today, is unknown by those who take "his" translation as the be-all-and-end-all and use it to persecute gays.
Conjectured, not probable. Certainly people said things, but that was common at the time. If you went by rumors and historical conjecture, pretty much every king or queen was homosexual. I think all of the queens had lesbian rumors. Charles I and II both jad rumors. And of course James. Were they true or just jealousy over not being the king or queens favorite? Moderns tend to have serious hangups about sex. We have a tendency to sexualize everything. Was James I very close with various men? No doubt. He was not a manly man either. Was he boning men? Who knows? He certainly had sex with women and had mistresses so it wasn't just out of obligation. Was Buckingham a lover or just a close friend? I don't think there's a satisfactory answer.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:21 PM
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I am a straight cis-male and am no activist. My point was that his probable orientation, known by many of his countrymen then and today, is unknown by those who take "his" translation as the be-all-and-end-all and use it to persecute gays.
I'm sorry. I didn't mean that you were making an accusation. I assumed that you were just reporting on accusations made by others. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:21 PM
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I know I have a reputation so I made an effort. Took me hours to clarify it.
That was clarified?
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:59 PM
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That was clarified?
Actually, no. I made it worse by trying to put in context. Originally it was, "I saw a documentary that said that James I had a string of boyfriends but he also sponsored the KJV that is used as a cudgel against gays. Discuss." But I didn't see the documentary, just heard it, and then came the background of how I happened to listen to it and a sidetrip on how distracting some British presenters are but avoided the pitfall of the Snows, pere et fils, where Dan is fan service for Mom because there is still too much Northumbrian mud. (I was trained to dig in the American Southwest, sans mud.) So anyway, I made an effort to not fall into one of my typical rhetorical traps like writing a complete post as a single sentence. But for me it was clear.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:42 PM
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Am I the only one who is sick of all the activists decreeing that <name of distant historical figure> was gay/bi/non-gender-binary/whatever? I don't see how it helps their cause and, anyway, it's been way overused.
The alternative is to assume every single person is straight, cutting all LGBT people off from their own historical context. When I was a kid, back in the '50s, the only person everyone knew was gay was Liberace, and he himself denied it. We had no context whatsoever.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:09 AM
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I am a straight cis-male and am no activist. My point was that his probable orientation, known by many of his countrymen then and today, is unknown by those who take "his" translation as the be-all-and-end-all and use it to persecute gays.
And I guess I am an activist, since I want my daughters to be treated right. I just forget they are actively bi. It's just who they are and that's okay.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:40 AM
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The alternative is to assume every single person is straight, cutting all LGBT people off from their own historical context. When I was a kid, back in the '50s, the only person everyone knew was gay was Liberace, and he himself denied it. We had no context whatsoever.
As a statistical matter, if you assume that every person is straight, you'll be FAR closer to being correct than if you assume that every person is gay.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:52 AM
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And if you make no effort to conjecture you are not bound to be anything. You let Reality spread over you like a warm blanket. Under my blanket I will give a NatGeo doc about the origin of people a shot. Nothing new, uninteresting narrator, this may work.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:52 AM
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And if you make no effort to conjecture you are not bound to be anything. You let Reality spread over you like a warm blanket. Under my blanket I will give a NatGeo doc about the origin of people a shot. Nothing new, uninteresting narrator, this may work.
Might I recommend to you the short documentaries of our own Philomena Cunk. This one is a good place to start, it features the highly-respected physicist Professor Brian Cox:

https://youtu.be/kLewiV4lYXk
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:27 AM
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Remember that this is the sponsor of the book that proves to American fundamentalists that Jesus spoke English with a Scottish accent and gives them all the reasons to hate the gays. A fascinating story, and one it was hard to sleep through, but one that asks, "Does the Religious Right know about their boy, Jamey?" Discuss.
If they want to like the guy, they'll find a way to make him acceptable. See this troubling thread from last month about Trump and king Cyrus.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:45 AM
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As a statistical matter, if you assume that every person is straight, you'll be FAR closer to being correct than if you assume that every person is gay.
False dichotomy.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:17 AM
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I have a bit of a thing for Liz Bonnin myself.

As for James I, it seems we will never know for certain.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:55 AM
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If we want to get back to your original point about James and the religious right. Even if we were to unearth some document about James loving to fondle Buckingham's manhood and it became undeniable, I don't think it would matter much. Obviously everyone knows about the 'King James Version' but it is largely divorced from 'King James' himself. Most would likely not be able to tell you the number after King James's name. Finding out that he was gay may elicit a nod, but not some sort of cognitive dissonance. I don't think that any of them think that James was actually more involved in the translation than simply saying 'Make it so.'
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:33 AM
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The alternative is to assume every single person is straight, cutting all LGBT people off from their own historical context.
False dichotomy.
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If we want to get back to your original point about James and the religious right. Even if we were to unearth some document about James loving to fondle Buckingham's manhood and it became undeniable, I don't think it would matter much
And I don't see why it should matter.

Suppose we assume that King James was gay/bisexual/transgender/non-binary/forsooth His Grace doth appear a little light in the royal loafers/whatever. Therefore - what? He should have directed the translators to leave Leviticus and Romans and the other passages out altogether? Added a footnote with the seventeenth-century equivalent of "jk lol"? He also seemed to think that the rule of the monarchy was absolute. Which passages should he have had altered for that?

The KJV is one of the milestones, not merely in Bible translation, but in the history of English prose. It has been hugely influential for 300 years. Who ordered the translation is kind of besides the point.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:13 AM
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Conjectured, not probable. Certainly people said things, but that was common at the time. If you went by rumors and historical conjecture, pretty much every king or queen was homosexual. I think all of the queens had lesbian rumors. Charles I and II both jad rumors. And of course James. Were they true or just jealousy over not being the king or queens favorite? Moderns tend to have serious hangups about sex. We have a tendency to sexualize everything. Was James I very close with various men? No doubt. He was not a manly man either. Was he boning men? Who knows? He certainly had sex with women and had mistresses so it wasn't just out of obligation. Was Buckingham a lover or just a close friend? I don't think there's a satisfactory answer.
I sure wouldn't bet the farm on it that he was straight. Seems more than just guesswork, and highly probable that he was gay. Researchers have an unusually large amount of letters from the British Library and the National Library of Scotland to cull over with his correspondence with three males in particular that were his favorites, but there were others. Although I'm not familiar with all of the expressions of the day, what little I've seen of his letters, straight men just don't go around talking like that to other males.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:54 AM
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Thank you for introducing me to Suzannah Lipscomb's documentaries. Not only are they interesting, she is indeed very attractive.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:15 AM
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Back when the gay rights movement, organizations would come up with lists of famous people who were supposedly gay. James I was on the lists back then.

The lists, of course, were not necessarily definitive. Gay rights organizations had an interest in listing as many as possible, and the evidence could be flimsy or trying to apply a contemporaneous definition of gay to people in the past. But the idea of what was meant by "homosexual" changed over time (in the 20s, it described someone who we would now call transgender).

There is some evidence James had liaisons with men, but until someone invents a time machine, it's all speculation.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:55 AM
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I sure wouldn't bet the farm on it that he was straight. Seems more than just guesswork, and highly probable that he was gay. Researchers have an unusually large amount of letters from the British Library and the National Library of Scotland to cull over with his correspondence with three males in particular that were his favorites, but there were others. Although I'm not familiar with all of the expressions of the day, what little I've seen of his letters, straight men just don't go around talking like that to other males.
More accurately, straight men in 21st century whatever country you live in don't go around talking like that to other males. Letter writing in the 17th century was a much different affair. Especially when you look at letters of relatives, the superlatives and protestations of love are very strange to modern readers. As a rule, emotions in letters tended to be spoken of as extremes. No one was 'sorry that they were out when you called.' You tended to be 'lost in the tendrils of despair that they had missed the glorious presence of your company.'

I can't dig through all of my 17th century books right now, but I grabbed a quick example from a letter John Donne (the great English poet) wrote to Robert Carr the bulk of which was that he wanted him to read a manuscript, but not show anyone else. Donne wasn't rumored to love anyone other than his wife and theirs was widely seen as one of the great love stories. Nevertheless, he closed his letter to Carr with "Love me still thus far for your own sake, that when you withdraw your love from me you will find so many unworthinesses in me as you grow ashamed of having so long and so much such a thing as -- your poor servant." (Modern non-poetic translation - Continue loving me because if you stop loving me, you'll see I was such a bad person that it will make you ashamed of how long you loved me.) Obviously, if I were to write such a thing to a friend in the 21st century US, people might think that my feelings toward him were more than simply friendship. In the 17th century though, such words toward non-sexual relationships were not necessarily common, but nor were they necessarily seen as romantic.

Last edited by senoy; 02-11-2019 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:51 PM
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There is nothing special about the King James version of the bible in regard to the sin of homosexuality. The prohibitions are in the original greek and hebrew and every faithful translation has them.
King James was not particularly involved in the translation and his sexual preferences would have no relevance.

Anecdotally, when I was growing up the NIV was the much preferred translation, though I prefer the NAS.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:31 PM
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More accurately, straight men in 21st century whatever country you live in don't go around talking like that to other males. Letter writing in the 17th century was a much different affair. Especially when you look at letters of relatives, the superlatives and protestations of love are very strange to modern readers. {snip}
Yes, I remember when reading from one of my favorite 19th century authors, how bizarre for him to have signed off his letter to one of his brothers with the expression he gave, but realized that was a part of that time as well which was confirmed with some other research I did on it.

While it wouldn't surprise me certain expressions of the day such as the one you gave in your post, may indeed been common which you say was popular among relatives. But since his three favorite males weren't relatives, minus Esme Stuart being his much older second cousin, is this still quite common among males to share these kind of sentiments and passion towards the same sex?

I'm no expert in expressions and idioms or customs of that time period, and my interest doesn't take me that far, but was it also customary for kings to be buried beside male favorites, and leave your wife out of the picture?

If this brief biography site is correct, it says that some earlier historians questioned his sexual nature with a number of men, but that "Few modern historians cast any doubt on the King's homosexuality..."

And wiki's take on King James personal relationships.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:38 PM
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Might I recommend to you the short documentaries of our own Philomena Cunk. This one is a good place to start, it features the highly-respected physicist Professor Brian Cox:

https://youtu.be/kLewiV4lYXk
It is to laugh! It was I who introduced the brilliant Dr Cunk to the benighted masses of the SDMB. Or someone else did and I didn't notice, being that I don't usually notice other people. Cox is boring/special fun since he caught on to the joke right away.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:08 PM
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Worsley had loads of evidence I don't recall the details of because I was trying to sleep at the time (there's a reason I put this in IMHO rather than GD) and it seemed damning enough, but because she is a Curator of the Royal Houses (History) or somesuch I don't think she'd want to endanger her day job by making scurrilous claims about the previous occupants. She was mostly quite absolute, leaving very little wiggle room.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:50 PM
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Pretty sure that King James I didn't actually perform the actual translation of the Hebrew, Greek, et al texts into English, but rather he commissioned them to occur.


Growing up in a rather fundamentalist church, I had many conversations as a teenager with older members of the church, who felt that the KJV was the only true translation of the bible and had no clue how translations occurred and thought that King James himself was divinely inspired to translate the bible.

Last edited by Omar Little; 02-11-2019 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:16 PM
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I am a straight cis-male and am no activist. My point was that his probable orientation, known by many of his countrymen then and today, is unknown by those who take "his" translation as the be-all-and-end-all and use it to persecute gays.
James had seven children, and yes he had close friend/favorites but it's really just a base canard.

In any case, just about any other translation will give you the same result. Even if you dont translate it.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:17 PM
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I sure wouldn't bet the farm on it that he was straight. Seems more than just guesswork, and highly probable that he was gay. Researchers have an unusually large amount of letters from the British Library and the National Library of Scotland to cull over with his correspondence with three males in particular that were his favorites, but there were others. Although I'm not familiar with all of the expressions of the day, what little I've seen of his letters, straight men just don't go around talking like that to other males.
They did in those days.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:18 PM
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It is to laugh! It was I who introduced the brilliant Dr Cunk to the benighted masses of the SDMB.
Stupid people aren't funny- there are too many of them.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:24 PM
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James had seven children, and yes he had close friend/favorites but it's really just a base canard.
Eight.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:40 PM
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Per Wikipedia, showing the depths I'm willing to go to research this, "James's wife Anne gave birth to seven live children, as well as suffering two stillbirths and at least three other miscarriages." Like I said, the Father of his Country, and that is just his legitimate hetero performance, but in the OP I claimed he was bi.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:44 PM
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^^^

I've seen lists up to nine children, I believe the discrepancy is with two that were stillborn, one they named, the other they didn't. In another list, both weren't named.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:45 PM
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Wait a second . . . Where are the cries of what a sexist boob I am? I mean, 90% of the OP was spent discussing how attractive some TV hosts are, with a mere 10% devoted to the topic at hand. All of that background could be seen as offensive, and looking back I would expect to be reamed for it multiple times. As I normally am working on bettering myself in that area I expect y'all to kick me back in line. It's sad to think that the #metoo movement has given up on me as a lost cause.

ETA: I wasn't intending to be offensive. I just am sometimes.

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Old 02-11-2019, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
James had seven children, and yes he had close friend/favorites but it's really just a base canard.
Monsieur* had seven children as well( one stillborn, plus multiple miscarriages )but nobody really doubts he was homosexual. He "did his duty" unwillingly and with poor grace and his second wife( who he seems to have been somewhat fond of in a friendly way )happily agreed to abandon his bed once said duty had been accomplished and they spent the next 25 years sleeping separately. Well beyond his life-long cross-dressing which wouldn't imply much on its own, his parade of male lovers is apparently very well-attested.

Legitimate children is a weak test for any noble/royal just because of the incessant pressure to breed. If we used that as an absolute determinant then William Rufus was certainly gay, though in fact Barlow thought it more likely he was bisexual. Illegitimate children is a stronger test, but still only that there was some cross-attraction. Alexander the Great probably slots in here.

James I? Eh, I'm with the majority - strong circumstantial evidence he was bisexual, but we'll never know for sure as with most of these characters.



* Just wanted to add that Monsieur was about effeminate as you get, but still a quite competent military commander. Easily destroys the old wimpy gay stereotype and is a good example why acknowledging historical figures that were likely gay is a useful thing even in popular culture.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 02-11-2019 at 10:31 PM.
  #43  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
Wait a second . . . Where are the cries of what a sexist boob I am? I mean, 90% of the OP was spent discussing how attractive some TV hosts are, with a mere 10% devoted to the topic at hand. All of that background could be seen as offensive, and looking back I would expect to be reamed for it multiple times. As I normally am working on bettering myself in that area I expect y'all to kick me back in line. It's sad to think that the #metoo movement has given up on me as a lost cause.

ETA: I wasn't intending to be offensive. I just am sometimes.
I'll jump in here. You're a bad bad man. Shame how you care about your daughters and all.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 02-11-2019 at 10:45 PM.
  #44  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Stupid people aren't funny- there are too many of them.
She's stupid?
  #45  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by zimaane View Post
I have a bit of a thing for Liz Bonnin myself.
Oh, THAT Liz Bonnin. I mean she's cute, but I'm old and beginning to appreciate different forms of cute and did you see that jaguar and Jack Russell who are BFFs?

ETA: And really, that show is about something I'm curious about.

Last edited by dropzone; 02-11-2019 at 11:20 PM.
  #46  
Old 02-12-2019, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
Wait a second . . . Where are the cries of what a sexist boob I am? I mean, 90% of the OP was spent discussing how attractive some TV hosts are, with a mere 10% devoted to the topic at hand. All of that background could be seen as offensive, and looking back I would expect to be reamed for it multiple times. As I normally am working on bettering myself in that area I expect y'all to kick me back in line. It's sad to think that the #metoo movement has given up on me as a lost cause.

ETA: I wasn't intending to be offensive. I just am sometimes.
Well... it's OK to like the look of a presenter. Also , we ALL know that some of the dolling up of women presenters IS to make eye candy and hold male viewers. And finally, you did make it clear that it wasn't JUST about the eye candy for you, you did in fact have interest in the topics and stuck around for the knowledge (I also liked hazards in Edwardian homes).

It's OK to like the way women look as long as that's not your ONLY interest in women. You acknowledged there was more than just looks there.

And yeah, we kind of know you after all this time here. For "sexist boob" that was a pretty mild post.
  #47  
Old 02-12-2019, 06:15 AM
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It's OK to like the way women look as long as that's not your ONLY interest in women. You acknowledged there was more than just looks there.
Ya kidding? Who these ladies most remind me of is my late wife, easy on the eyes and the smartest person I've ever known. When I have a question about anything I still catch myself before yelling, "Hey Pam, was James I gay?" and realize I need to look it up myself.
  #48  
Old 02-12-2019, 06:35 AM
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Right - the looks might have been the first thing that caught your interest, but you definitely acknowledge her smarts, too. That's what I'm getting at - you don't value women JUST for their looks (although sometimes you can sound like that), you really do know they have brains, skills, and talents and in some (many?) cases more of those things than you yourself do.

Hey, I get that you're a work in progress - aren't we all?
  #49  
Old 02-12-2019, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Stupid people aren't funny- there are too many of them.
You do realise this is a subversive parody, right? A parody performed by one of the best UK comedians working in British comedy at the moment. I understand if you don't find her funny, but stupid she is not.

This is undoubtedly derailing the thread, so apologies, and I'll leave it there.
  #50  
Old 02-12-2019, 02:05 PM
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You do realise this is a subversive parody, right?
Quiet, you! He's like Cunk's best marks interviewees, staring down two kids with flashlights and not noticing the unlit car that will run him down.
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