A hilarious, bawdy tribute to all the most insidious human vices, The Sot-Weed Factor has lasting relevance for readers of all times. A couple months ago, I started a re-read of this book that did not go well. I sighed. I snorted. I was responding to it like it was a phauntaiysee nawvelle with majgickq and other such borderline-criminal goins-on.
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Ebenezer Cooke was an 17thth century English poet, who traveled briefly to Maryland as a young man; then returned later in life to take possession of his inherited estates in the British colony.
All the above is true. Almost all of this book originated in the imagination of Mr. He sails for Maryland to take over a family estate there. During the years after his exodus from England, a comedy of errors causes him to lose his estate, his family, his friends, and the woman he loves. At the beginning of the novel, Cooke is arrogant and cowardly, but those are not the faults that cause his misfortunes. Often, others take advantage of him because of his naivety.
The story itself is written to sound like a 17th century novel. The author frequently employs words like forsooth, anon, and suchwise to transport the reader to colonial times.
It is farcical and satirical and funny and sad. The events of the story consist of a string of coincidences so unlikely that they border on the absurd. Cooke is captured by pirates and by Native Americans during his quests to regain his estate and to find his lost love. While pursuing his quests, Eben is determined to maintain his virginity, despite numerous temptations. The Sot-Weed Factor is an enjoyable story for anyone who craves an adventure.
The Sot-Weed Factor
Plot[ edit ] The novel is a satirical epic of the colonization of Maryland based on the life of an actual poet, Ebenezer Cooke , who wrote a poem of the same title. The Sot-Weed Factor is what Northrop Frye called an anatomy [ citation needed ]—a large, loosely structured work, with digressions, distractions, stories within stories, and lists such as a lengthy exchange of insulting terms by two prostitutes. The novel is set in the s and 90s in London and on the eastern shore of the colony of Maryland. He undergoes many adventures on his journey to Maryland and while in Maryland, all the while striving to preserve his innocence i. The book takes its title from the grand poem that Cooke composes throughout the story, which was originally intended to sing the praises of Maryland, but ends up being a biting satire based on his disillusioning experiences.