Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024576, Wed, 11 Sep 2013 18:25:29 -0300

{LIST Archives] Queen Victoria and her "monoceros"

The List archives are a treasure we sometimes forget to examine. Here's the gist of the information concerning Queen Victoria's statue : Item #12542 (11 Apr 2006 22:13) - Pale Fire: Queen Victoria and her Pet Monoceros

or Subject:
Pale Fire: Queen Victoria and her Pet Monoceros


Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>

Tue, 11 Apr 2006 22:13:58 -0400


text/plain (60 lines) , Victoria monument.jpg (60 lines) , coat of arms.jpg (60 lines)

"Brian Boyd's annotations in the Library of America edition of PF identified the "monoceros" as the unicorn on the British coat
of arms. I located a photograph of the Victoria monument and was able to make out the unicorn and its horn on the Queen left side. [See attached image of the Victoria monument.] Victoria is flanked by the animal figures from the British coat of arms.
The original statue was erected in 1912. What was apparently a replacement was installed on April 10, 1939 in the Place Victoria near the grounds of her one-time hotel. During World War II Italian occupiers defaced the statue and threw it into the bay. It was not until 1960 that a replacement monument was erected. This is the statue with the "eager protruding horn" that Nabokov and his narrator "Charles the Beloved" see prior to its "unshrouding" Examination of the photo shows the horn is in fact too low to protrude from the shroud. Perhaps artistic or royal (Kinbotean) prerogative?[ ] D. Barton Johnson

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