Episode 41 - Howl's Moving Castle
This week we have an update on 18th Century Shakespeare scammer William Henry Ireland, we talk about the latest literary scam hitting the scene, and we talk about how lighthearted fantasies do not spark joy for Becca as we discuss Diana Wynne Jones's fantasy for people of some age group, Howl's Moving Castle.
Next time we will be reading My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh. Get it and read it and talk to us about it.
A Note on the Etymology of Fanny
Fanny originated as a diminutive form of the name Frances, the feminine version of the masculine Francis. Frances was a consistently popular name in the early to mid 1800’s in both the UK and the US. Statistical analysis suggests that the nickname Fanny was also fairly common, until the rise of “fanny” as a slang term referring to female genitalia (UK) and buttocks (US) in the later 1800’s. This puts the etymology of fanny as a vulgar term referring to female anatomy at sometime in the mid to later 19th century. Oxford English Dictionary traces the first useage of it in print to a pornographic magazine published in London in 1879, though the Random House Historical Dictionary places it somewhere in the late 1930’s from a bawdy pub song.
Either way, it seems that it has nothing to do with the early erotic novel Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland, as I had suggested in the episode, because that was written in 1749, at least 100 years before the popular slang usage of fanny.