I read with interest the account in your June 12th issue about the recent performance of the Wise People of Gotham. At paragraph four, I was surprised to read that this production was adapted “From a biblical tale of a town called Gotham.” Having studied the Bible and having no recollection of such a place, I went to my Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible just to make certain. No such town. As a senior citizen with limited computer skills, I was able to go to Wikipedia and find the answer.
It is an old English folk tale about the villagers in Nottinghamshire, England. When King John (who reigned from 1199 to 1216) wanted to come through their village and thus make it a public highway, they feigned imbecility in order to thwart the king’s plans.
The various ways they demonstrated their ‘stupidity’ can be found in the oldest of Mother Goose stories.
As a retired English teacher and student of literature, I just thought you might like to know the real story.