Rose-Marie and Gismonda

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Last night, my dear friend, Marilyn Reed, told me her brother Stanley Godfroi, married Ruth Friml, whose grandfather was the Czech Composer, Rudolph Friml, who did the score for Rose-Marie. Ruthie’s sister, Diana, married the actor, John Lupton, who starred in the Bohemian movie ‘The Rebel Set’. When Stan died, John adopted Marilyn and his wife’s nephew. John Crawford was Rose-Marie in a silent movie made in 1928. Is it any wonder North Americans fell in love with her, for she is Bohemian Gypsy Girl, our Esmirelda. This is another installment of ‘The Joan Crawford Hour’.

The famous Czech Artist, Alphonse Mucha, did a postcard of Rudolph, that reads “Rudolph Friml The Bohemian Pianist.” I have not seen another male subject by Mucha whose work was embraced by the Hippies, and had an influence on Rosamond whose commercial career is very similar to Mucha was discovered when he did a poster of Sarah Benhardt who was in the play ‘Gismonde’ that is about the Duchess of the Dukes of Athens who just so happen to have owned the Shroud of Turin. The date suggests Gismonde might be based upon Marguerite de Chanrny, the granddaughter of Geodfrie de Charney, a Knight Templar who wrote books on chivalry. Marguerite was married to Humbert de Rougmont who is kin to may Knights Templar as I discovered.

The story of Gismund can be traced to the story of ‘Tancred and Gismund’ then “The Tale of Ghismonda and Guiscardo” which might have inspired ‘Romeo and Juliet’.  In Friml’s ‘Indian Love Song’ is Romeo calling to Juliet. Gismonda is formed from Sigismund.

What is truly astounding, is, I have been keeping an eye open for the source of Christine Rosamond’s paintings ‘Story Teller’. I could see the influence of Waterhouse in her work. This morning I found ‘The Decameron’ by Waterhouse.

Marilyn said she played Friml’s work on the piano. Is she had married me, her mother-in-law would have been, Rosemary Rosamond.

The heroine in ‘Rose-Maire’ is named ‘Marie de Flor’…flor is French for “flower”. de Flor sings Romeo and Juliet at the beginning of the movie. No one has connected Gismonde to this movie.  Perhaps Nisha could do a cello arrangement?

Jon Presco

Copyright 2016

  1. Rose-Marie (1936) — (Movie Clip) Romeo And Juliet

    Opening in a fancy Montreal theater, Jeanette MacDonald as the star Marie de Flor, performing in the French opera Romeo et Juliette by Charles Gounod, Jules Barbier and Marcel Carre, big troubles coming in her personal live, in Rose-Marie, 1936 also starring Nelson Eddy.

    TCMDb Logo View the TCMDb entry for Rose-Marie (1936)

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The main source of the play is “The Tale of Ghismonda and Guiscardo” from the first novella of Day Four of the Decameron. The tale was translated in William Painter‘s Palace of Pleasure (1566), but internal evidence indicates the authors worked from the original, and not Painter’s translation.[1] The play inspired at least five English tragedies by 1623, and in Elizabethan England was second only to Romeus and Juliet as a story of tragic love.

Act I starts in 1450 in Athens at the foot of the Acropolis.

In the opening act, we find Gismonda, the widow of the Duke of Athens, and the mother of his child, a five-year-old boy named Francesco. Gismonda is the ruling power of the duchy as regent for her son, an absolute monarch. She is surrounded by a flattering court, among whom is a Venetian, named Zaccaria Franco, who loved the Duchess before she married the Duke of Athens. He is seemingly one of her strongest supporters, but is actually trying to seize power for himself. Zaccaria is in league with the Turks, who support him in his plotting against the duchy. Gismonda’s young son Francesco, the heir to the duchy, stands between Zaccaria and his ambitions. So Zaccaria has conspired with an accomplice, Gregorez, to murder the boy.

The Decameron (From the Greek: δέκα – ten & μέρα – day) (Italian: Decameron [deˈkaːmeron; dekameˈrɔn; dekameˈron] or Decamerone [dekameˈroːne]), subtitled Prince Galehaut (Old Italian: Prencipe Galeotto [ˈprentʃipe ɡaleˈɔtto; ˈprɛntʃipe]), is a collection of novellas by the 14th-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375). The book is structured as a frame story containing 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men sheltering in a secluded villa just outside Florence to escape the Black Death, which was afflicting the city.

Sigmund and Siegmund are variants of Sigismund, a German given name meaning “protection through victory”, from Old High German sigu “victory” + munt “hand, protection”.

Charles Rudolf Friml[1] (December 7, 1879 – November 12, 1972) was a Czech-born composer of operettas, musicals, songs and piano pieces, as well as a pianist. After musical training and a brief performing career in his native Prague, Friml moved to the United States, where he became a composer. His best-known works are Rose-Marie and The Vagabond King, each of which enjoyed success on Broadway and in London and were adapted for film.

The Firefly and early operettas[edit]

One of the most popular theatrical forms in the early decades of the 20th century in America was the operetta, and its most famous composer was Irish-born Victor Herbert. It was announced in 1912 that operetta diva Emma Trentini would be starring in a new operetta on Broadway by Herbert with lyricist Otto Harbach entitled The Firefly. Shortly before the writing of the operetta, Trentini appeared in a special performance of Herbert’s Naughty Marietta conducted by Herbert himself. When Trentini refused to sing “Italian Street Song” for the encore, an enraged Herbert stormed out of the orchestra pit refusing any further work with Trentini.

Arthur Hammerstein, the operetta’s sponsor, frantically began to search for another composer. Not finding any other theatre composer who could compose as well as Herbert, Hammerstein settled on the almost unknown Friml because of his classical training. After a month of work, Friml produced the score for what would be his first theatrical success.[5] After tryouts in Syracuse, New York, The Firefly opened at the Lyric Theatre on December 2, 1912 to a warm reception by both the audience and the critics. The production moved to the Casino Theatre after Christmas, where it ran until March 15, 1913, for a total of 120 performances. After The Firefly, Friml produced three more operettas that each had longer runs than The Firefly, although they are not as enduringly successful.[6] These were High Jinks (1913), Katinka (1915) and You’re in Love (1917). He also contributed songs to a musical in 1915 entitled The Peasant Girl.

Trentini was named as a co-respondent in Friml’s divorce from his first wife in 1915, and evidence was introduced that they were having an affair.[1] Another show, Sometime, written with Rida Johnson Young and starring Ed Wynn and Mae West, ran well on Broadway in 1918–1919.[7]

Friml’s greatest successes[edit]

Friml wrote his most famous operettas in the 1920s. In 1924, he wrote Rose-Marie. This operetta, on which Friml collaborated with lyricists Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto Harbach and co-composer Herbert Stothart, was a hit worldwide, and a few of the songs from it also became hits including “The Mounties” and “Indian Love Call“. The use of murder as part of the plot was ground-breaking among operettas and musical theatre pieces at the time.

After Rose-Marie’s success came two other hit operettas, The Vagabond King in 1925, with lyrics by Brian Hooker and William H. Post, and The Three Musketeers in 1928, with lyrics by P. G. Wodehouse and Clifford Grey, based on Alexandre Dumas‘s famous swashbuckling novel. In addition, Friml contributed to the Ziegfeld Follies of 1921 and 1923.

Friml wrote music for many films during the 1930s, often songs adapted from previous work. The Vagabond King, Rose-Marie and The Firefly were all made into films and included at least some of Friml’s music. Oddly enough, his operetta version of The Three Musketeers was never filmed, despite the fact that the novel itself has been filmed many times. In 1930, he wrote a new operetta score for film, The Lottery Bride. Like his contemporary, Ivor Novello, Friml was sometimes ridiculed for the sentimental and insubstantial nature of his compositions and was often called trite. Friml was also criticized for the old-fashioned, Old World sentiments found in his works. Friml’s last stage musical was Music Hath Charms in 1934. During the 1930s, Friml’s music fell out of fashion on Broadway and in Hollywood.[8]

Later years and legacy[edit]

Rather than trying to adapt to popular taste, Friml decided to focus on playing the piano in concert and composing art music, which he did into his nineties.[8] He also composed the music for the 1947 film Northwest Outpost, starring Nelson Eddy and Ilona Massey.[citation needed] A few of Friml’s works have seen revivals on Broadway; these include a 1943 production of The Vagabond King and a 1984 production of The Three Musketeers. “The Donkey Serenade” from the film version of The Firefly, “The Mounties” and “Indian Love Call” are still frequently heard, often in romantic parody or comic situations. His piano music is also often performed.

In a November 1939 issue of Time magazine, Friml claimed that Victor Herbert communicated to him through a Ouija board. He said that Herbert told him, “Play five notes.” After he played them he said Herbert responded, “Quite charming.”[9] In 1967, Friml performed in a special concert at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco. As he often did in his concerts, he began the concert with a piano improvisation, then played special arrangements of his own compositions as well as composers who had influenced him. He even played Dvořák’s Humoresque as a special tribute to his teacher. He also appeared on Lawrence Welk‘s television program in 1971.Template:Http:// He was one of the original inductees into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.[8]

His two sons also worked as musicians. Rudolf Jr. was a big band leader in the 1930s and 1940s, and William, a son from Friml’s third marriage, was a composer and arranger in Hollywood. In 1969, Friml was celebrated by Ogden Nash on the occasion of his 90th birthday in a couplet which ended: “I trust your conclusion and mine are similar: ‘Twould be a happier world if it were Frimler.” Similarly, satiric songwriter Tom Lehrer made a reference to Friml on his first album, Songs by Tom Lehrer (1953). The song “The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz” includes the lyric, “Your lips were like wine (if you’ll pardon the simile) / The music was lovely, and quite Rudolf Friml-y.” Near the end of the 1957 musical The Music Man, Harold Hill lies to Marian Paroo: “I’m expecting a telegram from Rudy Friml, and this could be it.”[10]

Friml died in Los Angeles in 1972 and was interred in the “Court of Honor” at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. On August 18, 2007, a death notice in the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Kay Wong Ling Friml (born March 16, 1913), Friml’s last wife, died on August 9, 2007 and would be buried with him in Forest Lawn

The Vagabond King is a 1925 operetta by Rudolf Friml in four acts, with a book and lyrics by Brian Hooker and William H. Post, based upon Justin Huntly McCarthy‘s 1901 romantic novel and play If I Were King. The story is a fictionalized episode in the life of the 15th-century poet and thief François Villon, centering on his wooing of Katherine De Vaucelles (the cousin of King Louis XI), and relating how he becomes “king for a day” and defends France against the invading forces of the Duke of Burgundy.

The original production opened on Broadway in 1925, starring Dennis King and ran for 511 performances. The operetta then played in London, toured extensively and enjoyed revivals and two film adaptations, including one with King and Jeanette MacDonald.

The Three Musketeers is a musical with a book by William Anthony McGuire, lyrics by Clifford Grey and P. G. Wodehouse, and music by Rudolf Friml. It is based on the classic 1844 novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. Set in France and England in 1626, it recounts the adventures of a young man named d’Artagnan after he leaves home to become a Musketeer of the Guard. The three men of the title are his friends Athos, Porthos and Aramis.

The original 1928 production on Broadway, and a 1930 West End run, both starring Dennis King as d’Artagnan, were successful, but a 1984 attempt at a much-revised Broadway revival flopped.

Mucha moved to Paris in 1887, and continued his studies at Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi. In addition to his studies, he worked at producing magazine and advertising illustrations. About Christmas 1894, Mucha happened to go into a print shop where there was a sudden and unexpected need for a new advertising poster for a play featuring Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous actress in Paris, at the Théâtre de la Renaissance on the Boulevard Saint-Martin. Mucha volunteered to produce a lithographed poster within two weeks, and on 1 January 1895, the advertisement for the play Gismonda by Victorien Sardou was posted in the city, where it attracted much attention.[5]


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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This article is about the stage musical. For other uses, see Rose Marie (disambiguation).

Sheet music cover
Music Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart
Lyrics Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II
Book Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II
Productions 1924 Broadway
1925 West End
1928 Silent Film
1936 Film

Rose-Marie is an operetta-style musical with music by Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart, and book and lyrics by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II. The story takes place in the Canadian Rockies and concerns Rose-Marie La Flemme, a French Canadian girl who loves miner Jim Kenyon. When Jim falls under suspicion for murder, her brother Emile plans for Rose-Marie to marry Edward Hawley, a city man.

The work premiered on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre on September 2, 1924, running for 557 performances. It was the longest-running Broadway musical of the 1920s until it was surpassed by The Student Prince (1926).[1] It was then produced at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London in 1925, enjoying another extraordinary run of 581 performances. It was filmed in 1928, in 1936 and again in 1954.

The best-known song from the musical is “Indian Love Call“. It became Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy‘s “signature song“. Several other numbers have also become standards, including the title song.


Producer Arthur Hammerstein, attempting to create popular new Broadway shows in the operetta tradition, sought exotic, unusual settings for his new productions. The Fortune Teller (1898) is set in Hungary, The Merry Widow (1907) takes place in France, and Naughty Marietta (1910) features New Orleans.[2] He sent his nephew, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Otto Harbach to Quebec, Canada, to witness a rumored magnificent ice sculpture festival. The men reported that there was not, nor had there ever been, such a festival in Quebec or any part of Canada.[3]

Arthur Hammerstein still liked the Canadian setting, and Oscar Hammerstein II and Harbach began work on the book for a new musical set in the Canadian Rockies. Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart collaborated on the score, and opera star Mary Ellis was cast in the title role.[4] British actor and singer Dennis King was cast opposite her as Jim Kenyon.[2]

Productions and Adaptations[edit]

Stage versions

Rose-Marie premiered on September 2, 1924 at the Imperial Theatre in New York City, running for 557 performances. Direction was by Paul Dickey and choreography was by Dave Bennett. The orchestrations were by Robert Russell Bennett. Costumes were designed by Charles LeMaire, and settings were by Gates and Morange.[2] It had a brief revival on Broadway in 1927.[5]

It was then produced at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London in 1925, enjoying another extraordinary run of 581 performances. The original West End production had a chorus of eighty. It was London’s most successful Broadway show after World War I until it was surpassed by Oklahoma!. In Paris, Rose-Marie ran for an unprecedented 1,250 performances.[4]

A touring company premiered the work in Canada on January 12, 1925 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, and the piece toured Australia and played in Paris.[6] Other Canadian productions were given by the Variétés lyriques in 1937 and another in 1945, in French, and by Theatre Under the Stars in 1940, Melody Fair in 1951, and the Eaton Operatic Society in 1959. In recent decades, it has been produced by the Light Opera of Manhattan several times in the 1970s and 1980s, the Shaw Festival in Canada (1981), Light Opera Works of Illinois (1987), and Ohio Light Opera in 2003.

Film versions
Main article: Rose Marie (film)

The show has been filmed three times, including a silent film in 1928. Joan Crawford starred in this version, alongside James Murray. The best known film version was released in 1936, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. Although the plot was changed, and most of the songs were dropped, it was a huge success and became MacDonald and Eddy’s best-known film. In 1954, MGM produced an Eastmancolor version in Cinemascope, which more closely followed the original plot, but it still dropped most of Friml’s songs. This version starred Ann Blyth, Howard Keel and Fernando Lamas, with Bert Lahr and Marjorie Main as comic relief. It was choreographed by Busby Berkeley.

Little Mary Sunshine

Rose-Marie is the main (but not the only) target of the satirical musical Little Mary Sunshine, which parodies elements of the plot as well as the style of several of the songs. In particular, the song “Colorado Love Call” from Little Mary Sunshine is a parody of “Indian Love Call” from Rose-Marie.[7]


Act I

In Fond-du-Lac, Saskatchewan, Canada, trappers, hunters and travellers gather at “Lady” Jane’s hotel (“Vive la Canadienne”). Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Malone is flirting with Lady Jane, while wealthy city man Edward Hawley is watching a French Canadian girl, Rose-Marie La Flamme, even though she’s miner Jim Kenyon’s sweetheart. Rose-Marie’s brother, Emile, is searching for her, fearing she is alone with Jim. Wanda, a half-blooded Indian, dances close to Hawley, enraging her Indian lover, Black Eagle. Lady Jane’s man, the cowardly “Hard-Boiled Herman”, arrives at the bar. Jim arrives to greet Rose-Marie enthusiastically and explains to Sergeant Malone that he has given up his former wild ways because of his love for “Rose-Marie”. Black Eagle claims some land (and the gold on it) belonging to Jim and Herman. Herman thinks that shooting Black Eagle will solve everything, but Jim prefers to use legal means, declaring that he will visit Black Eagle and show him the boundary line the property map. Sergent Malone and “The Mounties” warn Herman that they will not hesitate to enforce the laws.

Emile is going to take Rose-Marie with him to the trapping grounds at Kootenay Pass. He dislikes Jim and wants her to marry Hawley for financial security. Rose-Marie doesn’t want to go, insisting to her brother that she is in love with Jim (“Lak Jeem”). Hawley plans to accompany Emile, but first he has to end his affair with Wanda. He plans to visit her at Black Eagle’s log cabin and bribe her to stay away from him. Jim tells Rose-Marie that he will follow her to Kootenay Pass, and they will meet in an old house he calls a castle near a valley with a beautiful echo. According to legend, Indians would call down into the valley to the girls they wished to marry (“Indian Love Call”).

Hawley meets Wanda at her cabin and tries to pay her off, just as Jim arrives with a map to prove his claim. Wanda sends Jim away. Black Eagle returns home and catches Wanda and Hawley embracing. He attacks Hawley, and Wanda stabs Black Eagle to save Hawley. Jim and Herman, unaware of the murder, follow Emile, Hawley, and Rose-Marie to Kootenay Pass. Jim and Rose-Marie communicate through their “Indian Love Call” (reprise). Emile tells Rose-Marie that she should marry Hawley because he could buy her all the “Pretty Things” she wants. Wanda arrives at Kootenay Pass and tells everyone that Jim is wanted for the murder of Black Eagle; his map was discovered near Black Eagle’s body.

Herman continues romancing Lady Jane (“Why Shouldn’t We?”). Hawley proposes to Rose-Marie, but she refuses him. He and a city girl whom he has employed, Ethel Brander, try to impress Rose-Marie with the glamour of city life in Quebec. Wanda leads an Indian “Totem-Tom-Tom” dance. Jim has received an offer from the Brazilian government to lead a mining project there. He asks Rose-Marie to come with him, even though it would be safer for her to go to Quebec and wait for him there. If she decides to come, they will meet at the “castle” and go to the United States to be married. If she does not, she should sing the Indian Love Call up the valley to him. Rose-Marie insists she will go with him; he leaves immediately, and she plans to follow twenty minutes later to avoid attracting suspicion. Sergeant Malone arrives with a warrant to arrest Jim for murder. Emile knows that Jim is hiding in the “castle”. He tells Rose-Marie that he will not reveal Jim’s hiding place to the Mounties if she will go to Quebec and marry Hawley. Holding back tears, Rose-Marie tells Hawley that she must sing the “Indian Love Call” to him, but she is really singing to Jim, telling him that she will not go with him.

Act II

Many months have passed. Rose-Marie is about to marry Hawley in Quebec, believing that Jim was the killer. Ethel Brander has convinced her that Jim murdered Hawley because he loved Wanda. Herman and Lady Jane have married, and they have a shop in Quebec. He still flirts with other women, but he catches her giving Sergeant Malone “Only a Kiss”. Jim returns with Wanda intending for her to clear his name. But, seeing Wanda, Rose-Marie jumps to conclusions about Jim and Wanda. Rose-Marie tells Jim that she loves Hawley (“I Love Him”).

The wedding preparations commence (“The Minuet of the Minute”), and Wanda jealously threatens Hawley. Sergeant Malone prepares to arrest Jim, who is hiding in Kootenay Pass, even though Malone is troubled by the evidence. Herman suspects Wanda and gets her to confess by pretending that Hawley has accused her of the murder. Jane interrupts them and incorrectly assumes Herman is cheating on her (“One Man Woman”). The wedding begins (“Doorway of My Dreams”), but as Rose-Marie walks down the aisle, Wanda publicly confesses to the murder and declares her love for Hawley. Everyone rushes to Jim’s lodgings, and Rose-Marie goes to the pass to return Jim’s “Indian Love Call”. The lovers are finally united.

That is the first novel of the fourth day of the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio . Il re Filostrato sceglie un tema cupo, ben più di quanto non siano stati quelli precedenti, come annota Fiammetta, la prima narratrice. King Filostrato choose a dark theme, much more than they were the previous ones, as noted Fiammetta, the first narrator. Si parlerà infatti di amori dall’esito tragico , in perfetta coerenza con il nome stesso di Filostrato, cioè “vinto d’amore”. It discusses it loves tragic outcome, in perfect keeping with the name of Philostratus, that “won love.” Anche la scelta del nome Fiammetta è significativo: nelle altre opere di Boccaccio, in particolare nell’ Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta , il

Tancred and Gismund (Gismond variant spelling) is an English Elizabethan play published in 1591. It is a revised version of Gismund of Salerne, a play that was written and produced for the queen in 1566 by the gentlemen of the Inner Temple. The earliest extant English play derived from an Italian novel, each act of the five acts was produced by a different author.

The play tells the story of a father, Tancred, whose widowed daughter, Gismund, returns home and begins a clandestine affair with one of her father’s courtiers. He kills her lover and presents her with a gold cup containing his heart. She kills herself, and her father, stricken by grief and regret, does likewise, thereby extinguishing his kingly line.

The play has been seen as an admonition to Queen Elizabeth to choose a husband that she might bear an heir, based on suitability instead of love.


  • Tancred – King of Naples and Prince of Salerne

  • Gismund – widow, daughter of Tancred

  • Guiszard – County Palurin, Gismund’s lover

  • JulioLord Chamberlain to Tancred

  • Lucrece – sister to Tancred

  • Renuchio – Captain of Tancred’s guard

  • Cupid – God of love

  • Megaera – a fury

  • Chorus of four maidens

  • Guard

  • Two furies


Tancred gave his only daughter Gismund, to a foreign prince in marriage. After the death of her husband she returns home to her father, who had missed her so much during her marriage that he is determined that she never again marry. She falls in love with the Guiszard, Count Palurin, one of her father’s courtiers, and he with her. She is able to meet with her lover by means of a secret cave under her bedroom, passing him the time of their meetings by concealing a letter in a cane. She meets her lover in the vault one day and while she is out her father comes looking for her. Thinking she has taken a walk, he lies on her bed, covers his head with a curtain and falls asleep. The lovers return and Tancred wakes and witnesses her daughter give herself to Guiszard. Stunned, he says nothing but has Guiszard arrested and his heart cut out and placed in a golden cup, which is then delivered to Gismund. She fills the cup with tears and poison and drinks it. Too late, her father comes in. He grants her dying wish that she be entombed with her lover. Tancred fulfills his pledge and then kills himself as a warning to all hard-hearted fathers.


The main source of the play is “The Tale of Ghismonda and Guiscardo” from the first novella of Day Four of the Decameron. The tale was translated in William Painter‘s Palace of Pleasure (1566), but internal evidence indicates the authors worked from the original, and not Painter’s translation.[1] The play inspired at least five English tragedies by 1623, and in Elizabethan England was second only to Romeus and Juliet as a story of tragic love.[2]

Date and text[edit]

The published play is a rewritten version of Gismund of Salerne, of which two manuscript copies survive, which was written and produced by five members of the Inner Temple for Queen Elizabeth.[3] Each act was written by a different author, names respectively as Rod. Stafford, Hen. Noel, G. Al., Ch. Hatton, and Robert Wilmot. The play was revised in keeping with “the decorum of these daies” by recasting the original rhyming lines into blank verse.[4]

Earlier critics dated the original play 1567-8 by taking Wilmot’s prefatory reference to his fellow Inner Temple collaborators to “the loue that hath bin these 24 yeres betwixt vs” and working back from the publication date. Chambers dates the play earlier to Shrovetide, between 24 and 26 February 1566 from an allusion in the manuscript to its performance at Greenwich and matching that to Elizabeth’s itinerary.[5]

This article contains summaries and commentaries of the 100 stories within Giovanni Boccaccio‘s The Decameron.

Each story of the Decameron begins with a short heading explaining the plot of the story. The 1903 J. M. Rigg English translation headings are used in many of these summaries. Commentary on the tale itself follows.

Tancredi, Prince of Salerno and father of Ghismonda, slays his daughter’s lover, Guiscardo, and sends her his heart in a golden cup: Ghismonda, the daughter, pours upon it a poisonous distillation, which she drinks and dies.

Fiammetta narrates this tale, whose earliest source is a French manuscript written by a man named Thomas. However, it is referred to in the early 12th century of Tristan and Iseult.,212303931,var,A-MUCHA–RUDOLF-FRIML-The-BOHEMIAN-PIANIST,language,E.html


Pioneering Czechoslovakian artist Alphonse Mucha (1860 – 1939) created a sumptuous Art Nouveau style filled with soft colors, curving lines and ethereal women. Mucha was inspired to paint by the artwork he saw in churches. A starving artist in Paris, Mucha skyrocketed to fame after he created a life size poster for Sarah Bernhardt’s play, “Gismonda.” The poster, which differed from current artistic trends, made him a household name and earned him a six-year contract from Bernhardt. In the 1960’s, Mucha’s style was revived, especially in psychedelic posters.

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chris-stripes chris-summer-mood

The first duke of Athens (as well as of Thebes, at first) was Otto de la Roche, a minor Burgundian knight of the Fourth Crusade. Although he was known as the “Duke of Athens” from the foundation of the duchy in 1205, the title did not become official until 1260. Instead, Otto proclaimed himself “Lord of Athens” (in Latin Dominus Athenarum, in French Sire d’Athenes). The local Greeks called the dukes “Megas Kyris” (Greek: Μέγας Κύρης, “Great Lord”), from which the shortened form “Megaskyr”, often used even by the Franks to refer to the Duke of Athens, is derived.

From 1395 to 1402 the Venetians briefly controlled the Duchy. In 1444 Athens became a tributary of Constantine Palaeologus, the despot of Morea and heir to the Byzantine throne. In 1456, after the Fall of Constantinople (1453) to the Ottoman Empire, Turahanoğlu Ömer Bey conquered the remnants of the Duchy. Despite the Ottoman conquest, the title of “Duke of Athens and Neopatras” continued in use by the kings of Aragon, and through them by the Kings of Spain, up to the present day.

The 14th century attribution of the origin of the shroud refers to a shroud in Lirey, France dating to 1353-1357. It is related that the widow of the French knight Geoffroi de Charny (said to be a descendant of Templar Geoffroy de Charney who was burned at the stake with Jacques de Molay) had it displayed in a church at Lirey, France (diocese of Troyes).[31] According to the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia :

On 20 June 1353, Geoffroy de Charny, Lord of Savoisy and Lirey, founded at Lirey in honour of the Annunciation a collegiate church with six canonries, and in this church he exposed for veneration the Holy Winding Sheet. Opposition arose on the part of the Bishop of Troyes, who declared after due inquiry that the relic was nothing but a painting, and opposed its exposition. Clement VI by four Bulls, 6 Jan., 1390, approved the exposition as lawful. In 1418 during the civil wars, the canons entrusted the Winding Sheet to Humbert, Count de La Roche, Lord of Lirey. Margaret, widow of Humbert, never returned it but gave it in 1452 to the Duke of Savoy. The requests of the canons of Lirey were unavailing, and the Lirey Winding Sheet is the same that is now exposed and honoured at Turin.”[32]


In 1418, Humbert of Villersexel, Count de la Roche, Lord of Saint-Hippolyte-sur-Doubs, moved the shroud to his castle at Montfort, Doubs, to provide protection against criminal bands, after he married Charny’s granddaughter Margaret. It was later moved to Saint-Hippolyte-sur-Doubs. After Humbert’s death, canons of Lirey fought through the courts to force the widow to return the cloth, but the parliament of Dole and the Court of Besançon left it to the widow, who traveled with the shroud to various expositions, notably in Liège and Geneva.

The widow sold the shroud in exchange for a castle in Varambon, France in 1453. The new owner, Anne of Cyprus, Duchess of Savoy, stored it in the Savoyard capital of Chambéry in the newly built Saint-Chapelle, which Pope Paul II shortly thereafter raised to the dignity of a collegiate church. In 1464, Anne’s husband, Louis, Duke of Savoy agreed to pay an annual fee to the Lirey canons in exchange for their dropping claims of ownership of the cloth. Beginning in 1471, the shroud was moved between many cities of Europe, being housed briefly in Vercelli, Turin, Ivrea, Susa, Chambéry, Avigliana, Rivoli, and Pinerolo. A description of the cloth by two sacristans of the Sainte-Chapelle from around this time noted that it was stored in a reliquary: “enveloped in a red silk drape, and kept in a case covered with crimson velours, decorated with silver-gilt nails, and locked with a golden key.”

Humbert de Villersexel is Humbert de Rougemont.

“1208 – Pons de la Roche presents to Amadeus de Tramelay, Archbishop
of Besançon, the Shroud that his son Othon de la Roche, Latin Duke
of Athens, had sent him from Constantinople.”

Aymon 2 de Rougemont was the Seigneur of Villersexel. He married
Guillemette de Ray, the daughter of Othon 2 de la Roche.

Othon 1 de la Roche (-before 1161) had a son named Pons de la Roche
the Seigneur de Ray. He first married Marguerite Tilchatel who may
be a Rougemont who came to own Til-Chatel. Guillaume, Gui, Humbert4,
Gui 2, and Thibaut 6 were Seigneurs of Til-Chatel. Othon then
married Pontia de Rougemont/de Dramelay the daughter of Thiebaud 2
de Rougemont. They has three children. Humbert, Thiebaud, and
Sibylle de la Roche. This union makes the Shroud the Rougemont
family icon, or relic.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2006

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Rose-Marie and Gismonda

  1. Reblogged this on rosamondpress and commented:

    The Mounty always gets his man. Oregon used to be part of the British Empire until my Benton kindred bought it back. I have seen a letter from Jessie Benton to the King’s representative assuring Oregon is not, nor will it ever be, a slave state. Cliven Bundy said blacks were better off as slaves. For saying this, his man in the field, and head of his ‘Freedom Revolution’ was shot dead when he refused to surrender. Here’s one for the Maple Leaf – Floyd!

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