Wednesday, March 27, 2013

You know why Charlotte Mason preferred North's Plutarch? (or, don't eat your fingers) (Updated)

Which edition and/or translation of Plutarch's Lives is the best? 

Charlotte Mason voted for North's translation-of-a-translation, in this (Blackie) edition and this (Cambridge University Press) edition (Google Books preview.  Google Books has it labelled wrong: it says it's Dryden/Clough, but it's not, it's selected Lives translated by North and edited by P. Giles.)  (Actually, with the Blackie edition--I think they may have even bought the individual Lives each term, as in this one.  It seems to make sense, especially since the Programmes state that the books cost only a shilling each.)

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UPDATE ON THAT:  I figured it out, based on the few Programmes that we do have online.  It's even simpler than it first appeared.  After I saw that Brutus and Coriolanus booklet, I couldn't figure out why there weren't more--once you start looking for the Picture Study booklets, for example, they're all over the place, terms and terms of them.  But the only other individual Blackie title I found was Julius Caesar.  And the other funny thing is that the P. Giles book only contains a few Lives:  Timoleon, Paulus Aemilius, Agis and Cleomenes, Tiberius and Caius Gracchi.  That's it.

So it was a case, I think, of using exactly what was available!  In Programme 90 (spring 1921), they did Timoleon.  Programme 91, Paulus Aemilius (big surprise).  Programme 92, Form III did Julius Caesar (it fit their history) and Form IV did Agis and Cleomenes.  Programme 93, Form III did Coriolanus, Form IV did Tiberius and Caius Gracchi.  Programme 94, everybody did Brutus.   And that's as far as we have.

(2015 update: you might like to know that Oxford's P. Giles Selections is being reprinted!)
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The sentence below shows you why

But the Carthaginians who were left in Rhegium perceiving, when the assembly was dissolved, that Timoleon had given them the go-by, were not a little vexed to see themselves out-witted, much to the amusement of the Rhegians, who could not but smile to find Phoenicians complain of being cheated.

Loeb Classical Library, 1920, by Bernadotte Perrin:
But the Carthaginians in Rhegium, after Timoleon had put to sea and the assembly had been dissolved, were indignant, and in their discomfiture afforded amusement to the Rhegians, seeing that, though Phoenicians, they were not pleased with what was effected by deceit.

But the captains of the Carthaginians, that were in Rhegium, when they knew that Timoleon was under sail and gone, after that the assembly of the Council was broken up, they were ready to eat their fingers for spite to see themselves thus finely mocked and deceived.


Charlotte Mason Blogs said...

i use the north's version that's available online... i like it. i even have reading sections that correspond to the study guides for several if that's helpful to you ever. ;)

i know nothing about blackie... i'm always amazed at your detective work!

Nancy Kelly said...

After I read Mason's different reasons for using North, that's what I use, also. I kept coming across her occasional remark about the way he put things, the way he turned a phrase, etc. Your comparison illustrates that well.

From joy to joy,