my linguistics textbook just pointed out that unlockable could either mean “able to be unlocked” or “not able to be locked.”
Somehow this is a cousin to the problem of "flammable" and "inflammable" meaning the same thing.
Help, I’ve caught another serious history bug.
And then I went down a hole that resulted in pinning down the year A Field in England takes place, as well as suggesting two historical candidates for Whitehead and O’Neil’s master—the “gentleman at Norwich, an eminent alchemist, physician and astrologer, amongst other things.”
Cutler refers to Cromwell fighting “the Welsh bastards at Pembroke”; the Siege of Pembroke was in 1648. So that puts the events of A Field in England sometime in late summer/early autumn of that year.
A Google search on “English alchemists Norwich” turned up two super interesting results: Arthur Dee, the eldest son of Elizabeth I’s court astrologer John Dee; and the great Thomas Browne, author of Religio Medici and other divers works on science, medicine, and esoterica. I don’t know if Wheatley and Jump actually had a specific one in mind (and I’m too shy to ask) but as something of a fan of Browne’s writings, that got me kind of excited. Though actually, Arthur Dee is the more likely candidate of the two, since Whitehead says something about his master being old and unwell, and Dee was 69 in 1648.
…I may need four strong people and a rope to get me out of this bog I’m getting myself into.