note on "bastard"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 10 17:35:39 UTC 2011

We know that illegitimate children played villains in English literature for
centuries - especially sons, perhaps because female bastardy was too
horrible to think much about (or too inconsequential? Dunno.). A
1954 letter, concerning T. E. Lawrence, from the English painter Eric
Kennington (1888 - 1960) surprises me with the lateness of its confident
assumption that bastards have congenitally bad characters.

>From Fred D. Crawford's _Richard Aldington and Lawrence of Arabia_
(Carbondale, Ill.: So. Ill. U. P., 1998) 70: "His mother _was_ an
adulteress, but why stone her publicly in page after page[?]. T. E. _was_
illegitimate and had characteristics which recur in bastards. But I know his
vast distance from sodomy, reject the claims that he lied to everyone on all
matters, [etc.]."


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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