Ford, Emanuel (DNB00)

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FORD, EMANUEL (fl. 1607), romance writer, was the author of 'Parismus, the renovmed prince of Bohemia. His most famous, delectable, and pleasant historie, conteining his noble battailes fought against the Persians, his love to Laurana, the king's daughter of Thessaly, and his strange adventures in the desolate Island.' London, by Thomas Creede, 1598. This work was licensed to Creede on 22 Nov. 1597 (Arber, iii. 98), and was dedicated to Sir Robert Radcliffe, the Earl of Sussex, Viscount Fitzwaters, Lord Egremond and Burnell. At the close is a recommendatory epistle from the author's friend L[azarus] P[lot], the pseudonym of Anthony Munday. The book imitated the Spanish romances. Its style was euphuistic, but its story was for the most part original. It was extraordinarily well received, and on 25 Oct. 1598 Creede obtained a license for a second part. It is called in the 'Stationers' Registers' (ib. iii. 129) 'Parismenos. The triall of true friendship,' but when published it was entitled 'Parsimenos. The second part of the most famous, delectable, and pleasant Historie of Parsimenos, the renowned prince of Bohemia,' London, 1599, and was dedicated to the Countess of Essex. Innumerable reprints of the whole work followed. In 1608 a volume was issued containing 'The First Part of Parismus' with a second title-page introducing 'Parismenos, the second part.' The latter bears the date 1609 and the words 'The third time imprinted and amended.' A fourth edition of the whole is dated 1615: others are dated 1630, 1636, 1649 (13th edit.), 1657, 1663, 1664, 1665, 1668-9, 1671, 1677, 1684, 1690, 1696, and 1704. The romance was also frequently issued in an abridged form as a chapbook without date. A reference to the work in Thomas May's 'Old Couple' (not published till 1658, although acted earlier) illustrates the book's popularity (Dodsley, Old Plays, ed. Hazlitt, xii. 12; cp. Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. vi. 310).

Another of Ford's romances is entitled 'The most pleasant history of Ornatus and Artesia, wherein is contained the unjust reign of Thaeon, king of Phrygia.' The Douce collection in the Bodleian Library has a copy dated 1607, dedicated to Bryan Stapleton, esq., of Carleton, Yorkshire. Heber had an imperfect copy, which he believed to have been published before 1598. Editions of 1634, 1650, 1669, and 1683 are known. The British Museum Library has none earlier than 1650. A third romance by Ford is called 'The Famous History of Montelion, knight of the oracle, son of the true mirrour of Princes, the most renowned king Persicles of Assyria.' In a jovial preface the author states that the success of 'Parismos' encouraged him to produce this work. The earliest edition now known is dated 1633. J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps had in his possession at one time a copy of earlier date. Other editions are dated 1663, 1668, 1671, 1683, 1687, 1695. It also appeared frequently as an undated chapbook. Ford's title of 'Montelion, knight of the oracle,' was the pseudonym adopted by John Phillipps [q. v.], one of Milton's nephews, who issued almanacks under that name in 1660 and 1661. Flatman [q. v.] also employed the same nom-de-guerre in his mock romance of 'Don Juan Lamberto.' Both 'Ornatus and Artesia' and 'Montelion' are written on the same models as 'Parismos.'

[Dunlop's Hist. of Fiction, ed. Wilson, 1888, ii. 547; Hazlitt's Handbooks; Brit. Mus. and Bodl. Libr. Catalogues.]

S. L. L.