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Why "Mab"? How the blog got it's name



Quite a while ago now, I removed the description of how my blog got it's name from the "About" section of my site (now called Meet Mab). I felt it distracted from the function of the page and, to be honest, I couldn't explain it in a way that suited an "about" section anyway! It's much more of a post-friendly topic...

So, for anyone who has ever wondered, here is how and why my blog has it's name, Mab is Mab.

Too many Emma's!

Amazingly, I managed to get through school being the only "Emma" in my classroom. When I started work, though, that all changed! I was quickly reclassified by my colleagues as "Emma B", "Emmab" when they were feeling lazy/cheeky(!) and then, eventually, Mab for short. It was around this time my blog was started.

Since moving teams, cities and role, "Mab" as a nickname has not followed me, as I am once again the only Emma. It surfaces now and then in emails from past team members though. It is a name I associate with many great memories, feeling inspired and being creative.

Childhood reading memories

When I was in school, I used to love the stories of King Arthur. I felt a great sense of achievement when I finally read, and really understood, all of the manipulations and undertones of it!
Around this time, the Sam Neill TV mini series of Merlin was shown and I simply loved it. Dragons! Witches! Wizards! Helena Bonham Carter! And, of course, the wonderful Miranda Richardson as Queen Mab. She was my favourite character and the reason I watched it over and over. Because, let's face it, Sam Neil as Merlin wasn't exactly Oscar-worthy ;)

Shakespearean kudos for fearlessness/craziness?!

I'm not one to shy away from my opinions, and even Shakespeare knew Mab was a presence not to be taken lightly. In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio has a monologue referencing the the fairy Queen Mab. True to Mab's own imposing nature, it's a jarring interruption to the flow of the dialogue in the play - and fobbed of by Romeo as nothing but an indulgence by Mercutio. A dream:




MERCUTIO: O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate stone
On the forefinger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Over men's noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon spokes made of long spinners' legs,
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
Her traces, of the smallest spider web;
Her collars, of the moonshine's wat'ry beams;
Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film;
Her wagoner, a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid;
Her chariot is an empty hazelnut,
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o' mind the fairies' coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
O'er courtiers' knees, that dream on curtsies straight;
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees;
O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.
Sometimes she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail
Tickling a parson's nose as 'a lies asleep,
Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled much misfortune bodes.
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage.
This is she!


(Ok, so Mab is more than a little scary here, but that's probably also what attracted me to to moniker!)

I love the Baz Luhrmann film version of the speech too, but unfortunately I couldn't find it on the web to link to :(

So there you have it! A brief history of "why Mab?" It fit me both personally and in that it had wonderful links to literature, which made it perfect for the blog. If you have a blog, brand or site why not share how you found your name too? Leave links or tell me in the comments :)