About Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty, Knight


A Scottish writer, Sir Thomas Urquhart is most well known for translating Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel (G&P) from its original French.   He borrowed or invented a number of words in order to capture Rabelais' inventiveness, and his own writing - particularly The Jewel - seems to exist almost purely to allow him to neologise. Someone at the OED was also a fan, as it contains a number of words which only Sir Thomas has ever used.


Words
If you're just after words invented by Sir Thomas, you want the 0-degree words, although I'd also recommend the 1-degree words, as a number of them are French, Greek or Latin terms Sir Thomas brought over into English for us.  The rest of the words on the blog are an eclectic bunch, written up as I encounter them.

Biographies and analysis

Link to The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes(1907–21); Volume VII. Cavalier and Puritan. X. Antiquaries. § 14. Sir Thomas Urquhart (not nearly as long as the title suggests).

Link to Wikipedia on Sir Thomas.

Link to Cousin's 1910 Short Biography of Sir Thomas, containing some popular myths.

Link to a rather literal transcript of a lecture on Sir Thomas' writing in the context of Scottish literature and language. Includes the lecturer's umms and errms, and a student arriving late, but worth persisting with if you have got this far.

Link to a London Review of Books article on a 1984 edition of The Jewel. Although quite interesting, this contains what appears to be baseless speculation as to Sir Thomas' personality.  A number of writers appear to take everything Sir Thomas wrote at face value, failing to credit him with any sense of humour or irony.

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