GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2006-09 > 1159028872
Subject: Re: use of word, "pretender"
Date: 23 Sep 2006 09:27:52 -0700
"Diana Gale Matthiesen" schrieb:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Chris Dickinson [mailto:]
> > Sent: Friday, September 22, 2006 1:40 PM
> > To:
> > Subject: Re: use of word, "pretender"
> > One of the simple facts of politics is that people and countries make
> > titular claim to things that they have no practical control over, with
> > varying degrees of theoretical justification and of political
> > manipulation. I don't think that one can make moral judgements
> > about this - at what point did the English monarch's claim to be
> > King of France become contemptible?
> But of course we can and do make moral judgments. One person's champion is
> another's terrorist. One person's religion is another's nonsense. It all
> depends on your point of view. Thank you for reminding me that is the case.
> > But, going back to your original comment, I would think that
> > the use of the term 'Pretender' is always derogatory. It is
> > used from the perspective of the person, group, political
> > body, culture that HAS - the party that HASN'T would use
> > another term like 'rightful king'.
> That the intent is always derogatory by the one who applies the term makes
> sense, so thank you for clarifying that point.
> What about someone who has no blood-right to being king vanquishing the rightful
> king and taking his place claiming to be the rightful king? He's not the one
> out of power, he's the one in power, but shouldn't be. Is he a pretender? It's
> not an outright conquest because he claims to be in power rightfully.
> I know I'm picking this to death, but I don't want to mis-use the word.
Actually, I differ from Chris's point of view. The word Pretender can
in some circumstances be used simply to describe someone who would be
king if circumstances were different and who maintains (or has not
renounced) his claim. When I talk about the French Pretender [not that
I often get the occasion to, but you know what I mean], I mean the head
of the Orleanist house, whose claims to me seem the best of the bunch.
I don't do this in a derogatory sense, but because it's the easiest way
to refer to him. I wouldn't call him The King of France or the de-jure
king or somesuch, because he isn't a king - he's merely a claimant to a
(no longer existant) throne.
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