Letter: Gorgeous word

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Terence Blacker ("And now for a gorgeously inappropriate Aga saga", 21 August) puts his finger on some of the modish expressions which make us squirm. But does the adjective "gorgeous" really belong in this category?

If Mr Blacker could find no interesting examples of the use of the word, is it perhaps that he didn't look hard enough?

The example which leaps to mind occurs in a moving passage in King Lear: "If only to go warm were gorgeous,/ Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st."

The other seven examples of the word in Shakespeare include Prospero's "cloud-capped towers [and] gorgeous palaces"; the description of Prince Hal and his companions-in-arms as "gorgeous as the sun at midsummer"; and the reference by Hal himself, after his accession as Henry V, to his "new and gorgeous garment, majesty".

Surely not an adjective to be sneered at?

CHARLES BARBER

Leeds,

West Yorkshire

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