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Authors: Sarah L. Thomson

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BOOK: The Secret of the Rose
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The English that the Elizabethans spoke was not too different from what we speak today. There are some words we’ve stopped using; most people nowadays wouldn’t know that a picadil is a roll of fabric at the shoulder of a shirt or that a maltworm is someone who drinks too much. And we’ve added some new words, like “nanosecond” and “ecology.” But if you met an Elizabethan, you could probably understand each other, more or less.

There is, however, one major difference between the English of today and the English of the sixteenth century: the pronoun “thou” (and “thee,” which is the objective form of “thou”). When we are talking directly to someone, we always use the pronoun “you.” Elizabethans also used “you.” But they used “thou” as well.

Deciding whether to use “you” or “thou” could be a tricky question for an Elizabethan. Here are some of the rules.

“You” is always used for the plural. Anyone speaking to more than one person would say “you.”

“You” is also used to speak to a single person who’s considered more important than you are. A child talking to an adult, a servant to a master, or a peasant to a nobleman would say “you.”

“Thou” is used to speak to someone considered less important than you. An adult talking to a child, a master to a servant, or a nobleman to a peasant would say “thou.” “Thou” can even be used to insult somebody. If you’re talking to an acquaintance or a stranger of your social rank or better, you can call that person “thou” if you’re really angry. But you’d better be prepared for a fight.

You can also use “thou” if you’re talking to someone you love and feel close to. Lovers, siblings, and close friends can call each other “thou.”

“Thou” comes with its own set of verb endings that we don’t use anymore in modern English. Usually an “st” or “est” ending is paired with a “thou.” So you might say “How dost thou?” to your servant or sibling or dear friend, but “How do you?” to your parent, employer, or a duke you happened to meet in passing.


Thanks to Susan Tananbaum
for her help and advice

About the Author

is the author of two previous novels for young readers.
The Dragon’s Son,
a retelling of the King Arthur story, was a Junior Library Guild selection and was chosen as one of the Best Books of the Year by the Bank Street College of Education.
The Washington Post
The Manny,
a comedy about a boy nanny, as having “a plot worthy of Jane Austen.”

Sarah Thomson managed to graduate as an English major without ever taking a class on Shakespeare (or Marlowe, for that matter), but she did travel to London to research
The Secret of the Rose,
visiting the reconstructed Globe Theatre. A former editor with a major children’s book publisher, she lives in Portland, Maine.

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Jacket art © 2006 by Michael Gibbs

Jacket design by Paul Zakris

This book is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

. Copyright © 2006 by Sarah L. Thomson. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Thomson, Sarah L.

The secret of the Rose / by Sarah L. Thomson.

    p. cm.

“Greenwillow Books.”

Summary: When her father is imprisoned in 1592 England for being Catholic, fourteen-year-old Rosalind disguises herself as a boy and finds an ultimately dangerous job as servant to playwright Christopher Marlowe.

ISBN-10: 0-06-087250-0 (trade bdg.) ISBN-13: 978-0-06-087250-2 (trade bdg.)

ISBN-10: 0-06-087251-9 (lib. bdg.) ISBN-13: 978-0-06-087251-9 (lib. bdg.)

[1. Sex roles—Fiction. 2. Survival—Fiction. 3. Theater—Fiction. 4. Catholics—England—History—16
century—Fiction. 5. Marlowe, Christopher, 1564-1593—Fiction. 6. Rose Theatre—Fiction. 7. London (England)—History—16
century—Fiction. 8. Great Britain—History—Elizabeth, 1558-1603—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.T378Sec 2006 [Fic]—dc22 2005022177

EPub Edition © November 2009 ISBN: 978-0-06-199592-7

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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BOOK: The Secret of the Rose
9.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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