Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Dutchman's Beard

Willem Barentsz was a 16th century Dutch explorer who sought to find the Northeast passage, running above Siberia's north sea line which would have allowed easier access to countries as remote as India and China. He died on the 20th of May 1597 after his ship got stuck in the ice near the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya.

Four years later, in 1601, Shakespeare wrote in Twelfth Night:

'...and you are now sailed into the north of my lady's opinion; where you will hang like an icicle on a Dutchman's beard...'