Posted by Helen on August 24, 1998 at 14:23:19:
In response to A scholarly note, written by John W on August 22, 1998 at 17:28:53
] One of the first serious discussions of the design of a suitable water closet was written in the reign of Elisabeth1 by Sir Thomas Harington. It was called ' The Metamorphosis of Ajax' Not a lot of people know that.
Sir John Harington, jr... dedicated to Queen Elizabeth as a suggestion for how to deal with those nasty court smells. Apparently, it would work splendidly, but no-one knows if he intended it as a fantasical invention or a real thing to be made. Sir J also translated Ariosto's epic poem Orlando Furioso into English... legend has it that he was caught by the queen circulating his translation of a rather naughty passage amongst her ladies in waiting, and was told by her that he could stay away from court until he had written out the whole thing... thousands of lines long.
The title of his book, by the way, is a pun: Ajax, or a jakes (ie a lavatory), also a pun on his name - a Jack's. One of the few books ever to combine the flush toilet and classical Greek.
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