The poodle and the pamphleteers, January–February 1643
This chapter explores how, in early 1643, the rival polemicists shifted their attention from the prince to his dog. First, it shows how a series of disparate events – including a meteor shower near Cirencester – helped to inspire the publication of a pamphlet entitled Observations on Prince Rupert's White Dog, a pamphlet which assured its readers that the prince's canine companion was in fact, a beautiful woman from Lapland who had transformed herself into the shape of a dog through occult art. Second it will demonstrate that it was the anonymous author of this manipulative masterpiece – the anonymous author who is here tentatively identified as the uber-Royalist poet, John Cleveland - who was the true begetter of the Boy myth. Finally, it will investigate the wave of excitement which the appearance of the Observations provoked and the stream of copy-cat publications which swiftly followed. [143 words]
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